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Obituary: CSON Prof. Emerita Miriam Gayle Wardle


By Kathleen Sullivan | Chronicle staff

Published: Dec. 11, 2013

Boston College Connell School of Nursing Professor Emerita Miriam Gayle Wardle, who taught at Boston College for 30 years, died Nov. 29, 2013. She was 76.

An expert in psychiatric mental health nursing, Dr. Wardle was known for her teaching of undergraduates and her longitudinal study of decision-making by professional women. She often could be found in her colorfully decorated office offering academic guidance to students. One of her most popular courses was on death and dying.

“She used this expertise to prepare her family, friends and herself for her death,” said Connell School of Nursing Professor Emerita Laurel Eisenhauer, who visited with Dr. Wardle shortly before her death.

Dr. Wardle joined the Boston College faculty in 1975. She was named a full professor in 1983 and retired in 2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree from Boston University and a doctorate from North Carolina State University.

Her husband, David Gloss, died many years ago, leaving Dr. Wardle to raise the couple’s four children on her own. “She was rightly proud of the accomplishments of her children, two of whom are physicians and the other two are teachers,” said Connell School of Nursing Professor Emerita Jean O’Neil.

Colleagues recalled Dr. Wardle as a bit of a “rebel.” She could be counted on, they said, to help to focus discussion or present an opposing point during faculty meetings. Eisenhauer added, “She tended to have strong --and often-- correct opinions about issues, but had a kind and gentle heart.”

A voracious reader, Dr. Wardle was a supporter of the arts, including the ballet, museums, and symphony concerts.

“She regarded the arts as a necessary balance in her busy life,” said O’Neil. In their final conversation, according to O’Neill, Dr. Wardle spoke of the joy she experienced in supporting and participating in so many cultural aspects of the Boston area.

Prior to BC, she taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Oregon Medical School. She also worked as a staff nurse at C. Howard Marcy State Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Wardle is survived by her children: Mark, David, Harry and Rachael Karen Elizabeth Gloss, all Boston College graduates, as well as three grandchildren and three siblings.

Services have been held. Donations may be made in her memory to Wide Horizons for Children, 38 Edge Hill Road, Waltham MA 02451.