Nursing wasn’t a specialized profession when Christine Gyure was on the job in Bridgton in the 1940s. If she wasn’t tending to patients or helping deliver babies, she might have been ironing sheets or preparing meals. She headed the local Red Cross effort, and also rolled bandages to distribute to other chapters.

“She did everything,” remembered her daughter, Linda Simard.

Mrs. Gyure worked as a registered nurse in Bridgton for more than 30 years. She died Friday at the age of 100.

Mrs. Gyure graduated from Syracuse University with a nursing degree. She spilled hot water on a patient — another student — while working in the hospital there. That patient, Benjamin Gyure, later became her husband.

The family moved to Bridgton in the late 1930s when her husband was put in charge of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Simard remembers living in what she described as a guardhouse at the foot of Highland Lake. Her father, a forester, spent his days supervising tree planting across western Maine. Her mother found her calling at Bridgton’s hospital.

The hospital, then called Northern Cumberland Memorial Hospital, was located in a Victorian mansion on Main Hill from 1941 to 1964. The emergency room was in a big, attached barn. Today, the 1876 Victorian landmark on Route 302 is being renovated, a development that would have interested Mrs. Gyure.

The area had only a couple of doctors at the time, so nurses took up the slack. Because the family lived just behind the hospital, Mrs. Gyure was rarely off duty.

“She was called out any time of the day,” Simard said.

Much of the work was routine, but Simard remembers the great fires of 1947. She recalls her mother riding to and from Brownfield in the ambulance for days, treating fatigued firefighters as the forests burned.

Mrs. Gyure retired from nursing when she was 65, but didn’t stop working. Among her jobs was selling lift tickets at the former Pleasant Mountain ski area. She kept busy at the Congregational Church, and with many local friends.”She outlived most of them,” Simard said.

Mrs. Gyure spent her last 10 years at the Country Village Assisted Living Center in Casco. She had lived for a time in Louisiana and disliked the heat. So when Simard and her husband moved to Vero Beach, Fla., Mrs. Gyure wouldn’t join them.

“She said she’d never go south again, and she meant it,” Simard said.

Staff Writer Tux Turkel can be contacted at 791-6462 or at:

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