Penny Heiskill Borio Davidson, 83, of Navarre, Florida, passed away on October 11, 2020, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center from complications of COVID-19. Penny was born April 21, 1937, in Paden, Oklahoma. She was preceded in death by her parents, John “Bud” Heiskill and Lola Little Heiskill Ellette; 9 brothers and sisters; her step-daughter, Sherry Aley; grandson, Stephen C. TenHagen; and her great-grandson, Cody Jay Guarin.
Penny is survived by her loving, caring husband of 37 years, Jerry D. Davidson; her daughers, Frances Nouri (A.J.) of Richardson, TX; Dinah (Don) Borio TenHagen of Navarre, FL; and, Deborah Borio of Dallas, TX; step-children Tamela (Gene) Davidson Schultz; and, Nathaniel D. (Barbara) Davidson; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great-grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews; and, her dear friend of nearly 60 years, Mary “Myrt” Farr.
Penny was raised in Okemah, Oklahoma. She traveled with her then-husband, Jules J. Borio, and family to military assignments in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, to New Orleans, LA; Jacksonville, FL; Abilene, TX; O’Fallon IL; Incirlik, Turkey; and, finally settling in Fort Walton Beach, FL, 1965. She had a lifelong love of learning and was taking college courses through her travels. She enjoyed years of square dancing and country dancing, which is where she met Jerry. Together, they ruled the dance floor. She loved several dachshunds during her lifetime, but none more than her precious “Oscar,” who passed away in 2017.
Since she was a young child, Penny dreamed of being a nurse. She would say that her greatest accomplishment—other than being a Mother—was graduating from Pensacola Junior College School of Nursing. She graduated in 1968 as the Valedictorian. She began working at Fort Walton Beach Hospital, where she found her love of Emergency Nursing. In 1975, she moved to then-General Hospital where she worked in the Emergency Room for many years, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Case Management, was the House Supervisor and Education Director. She also worked for several doctors. Her lifelong love of learning led her to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of West Florida, Pensacola. Penny loved to challenge herself. She sought every certification applicable to her area of expertise. In the late 70’s she took a sabbatical to work in Chicago, IL at Cook County Hospital and earned the distinction of Trauma Nurse Specialist.
Anyone who knew her, knew that she loved her nursing cap and proudly wore it throughout her career. She loved every second of her time serving others as a nurse and countless individuals she cared for swore she was an angel. Penny inspired many others to become nurses. She worked as a nurse until her late seventies, when a serious car accident forced her to retire from the profession she had always dreamed of and passionately loved.
Penny was crowned Follies Queen in the early 1970’s, which was an annual fund-raising event sponsored by the FWB Hospital Auxiliary. Penny also participated in the Nurses’ Health Study, 1976-1996, sponsored by Channing Laboratory at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Woman’s Hospital to further the knowledge of women’s health issues and was commended for her 20 years of faithful, loyal, and enthusiastic participation. In addition, Penny was inducted into the Society of Nursing Professionals Who’s Who in American Nursing Inaugural Edition. She also obtained a certification in Emergency Nursing, which she maintained from 1983-2000.
A celebration of Penny’s life will be held at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 161 Racetrack Rd NW, Fort Walton Beach, FL, on October 15, 2020. Family visitation and viewing will be from 1:00-2:00 pm, and the service celebrating her life will begin at 2:00 pm, with Pastor Kenneth Rousseau officiating. Burial will be in Paden, OK, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holley-Navarre Fire Department in Navarre, Florida; the Auxiliary of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in Fort Walton Beach; the Rescued Rescuers: Dachshunds and Friends of the Emerald Coast, http://www.TheRescuedRescuers.org; and the Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses, sponsored by the American Nurses Foundation.
Expressions of sympathy may be placed and viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com
The family would like to thank the Staff and physicians at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center that cared for Penny, most of whom we never had the privilege to meet in person. We are grateful for your patience with our calls, for providing us updates, and for the very kind, caring manner in which you made every effort to meet our needs and help us through the added grief of not being able to be at her side. You did so much for us while taking exceptional care of Penny--our beloved mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, and friend. We would also like to thank Emerald Coast Hospice for their kindness and compassion. Special thanks to Dr. Yuan Wang for his care, and his amazing “bedside” manner and compassion in taking time to call our family every day with updates.
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