When Mary Elizabeth Shellabarger-kwn throughout her life as Bess-passed away, she left three battered old suitcases filled with journals, photographs, and documents for her grandniece Alice. A te on top of the contents of one of the suitcases declared, Alice Elizabeth Selch will write my memoirs. So, like any faithful grandniece, Alice did as instructed. The result is Three Scuffed Suitcases, a fascinating portrait of an indomitable pioneer woman who lived her life to the fullest, working tirelessly on behalf of others and exhibiting wisdom, fortitude, and grace every step of the way. Born in 1879 in a remote town in Colorado, little Bess entered the world with a cleft lip and palate. Far from medical care, her chances of survival were moderate at best. But survive she did, growing up to serve as a nurse in World War I and pioneer the way for women's and nursing education in the United States. Bess's grandniece Alice deftly weaves together direct quotes from Bess's diaries with pictures and other historical documents, telling the story of this remarkable woman and her courageous, gracious contributions to her family, her community and country, and to the profession of nursing.
Alice S. Stephenson BSN, RN, PN (Retired) is a diabetes educator, wellness consultant, and parish nurse, living in Cornville, Arizona, just south of Sedona. A native of Steamboat Springs and a graduate of University of Colorado College of Nursing, her career included home health, hospice, diabetes care, and parish nursing. She was named in Who's Who in American Nursing 1988-1989. She became a certified diabetes educator after years of caring for the complications of diabetes. She participates in an active group of Retired RN's known as NARNIA (Northern Arizona Retired Nurses in Action) and in her P.E.O. Chapter. Alice loves reading and writing. Her poetry appears in Our World's Best Loved Poems and she writes monthly Wellness Notes for church newsletters. Alice and her husband John enjoy RV traveling. They live in their retirement dream home. They have four children, five grandchildren and two adopted grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.