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Edwina A Youth

August 2, 1934 — May 15, 2021

A Tribute to Edwina Allyce Scudder – Youth

My Mother, My Heart

Dr. Elise L. Youth

Edwina Allyce Scudder – Youth was carried by the angels into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 15, 2021.  She was born on August 2, 1934 in Huntingdon, Long Island to Edwin and Susan (nee Zehner) Scudder.

As a child, Edwina developed a passion for medicine.  Her Scudder ancestors were the first Christian medical missionaries to India in the 1800’s.  Her great-Aunt Dr. Ida S. Scudder started the Vellore Christian Medical College and Hospital in Tamil Nadu, India which is now an international WHO center for healthcare and research.  In addition, Edwina’s uncle Dr. John Scudder and his colleague Dr. Charles Drew developed the first blood bank utilizing a process which involved separating plasma from blood cells. While spending treasured hours in the laboratories of her Aunt Dr. Sarah Scudder, who was instrumental in the development of penicillin, it was only natural that Edwina would choose a career in medicine. She received her nursing degree from Columbia University School of Nursing. Edwina became the youngest head nurse of the surgical department at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and later at Mercer Medical Center in Trenton, NJ as well as a private practice nurse.

A devout Christian, Edwina always “walked the walk.”  She was a charter member of the Lutheran Human Rights Organization of America founded in the 1950’s to combat racism, bigotry and human rights violations.  She held regional and national leadership positions in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.  As a former chair of the Vellore Christian Medical College Foundation, Inc., she was a driving force in two capital campaigns, funded the operating expenses for a non-profit childbirth clinic and traveled to India promoting healthcare access for the poor and marginalized.  Edwina was a life member of the Scudder Association, Inc., a nationally registered genealogical and philanthropic organization. 

Throughout her life, Edwina enjoyed a variety of passions and interests which included dancing (especially the jitterbug), roller skating, knitting (creating original patterns and designs), gourmet cooking, entertaining, reading, creative writing, music (especially classical, opera, jazz and reggae) and Tai Chi.  She traveled extensively, immersing herself in the culture, music and food of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Europe and India.  Edwina had a gift for connecting with others on a compassionate, loving and spiritual level throughout her journeys.

After poignant and courageous battles with polio, breast cancer and stage 4 malignant metastatic melanoma, Edwina heard God’s loving voice calling “well done My good and faithful servant.”  In spite of her struggles Edwina exemplified dignity and grace and continued to provide support, inspiration and love to others most especially her daughter. Her favorite hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” and the sonnet “Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne assure us all that Christ has indeed conquered death.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there by any more pain…”

Revelation 21:4

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