Bertha Owens Speight, 47, the psychiatric nurse who was found shot and killed Friday night in a parking lot at the Washington Hospital Center, had lived and worked in the Washington area since the early 1960s.
She had worked as a nurse and administrator at a number of area hospitals, including the old Freedmen's, Children's, and the Veterans Administration.
Mrs. Speight had been working as a consultant with the Job Corps at the Washington Hospital Center for the past year. According to police, she was on her way to the center when she was slain. Another nurse found her lying near her car, with a gunshot wound in the head. A hopsital doctor pronounced her dead.
The investigation into the death is continuing, according to a spokesman for the D.C. Police.
During the late 1960s, Mrs. Speight was an assistant chief nurse with the city's Community Mental Health Center. She was director of nurses with the Community Group Health Association, a federally-funded neighborhood health center in Washington, during the early 1970s.
She was a deaconess of the Liberty Baptist Church in Washington, and a member of the Eastern Star. Her professional memberships included the American and District of Columbia nurses associations and the Black Nurses Association.
Mrs. Speight was a native of Mount Olive, N.C. She attended Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., and earned a nursing degree at North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University in Greensboro, and earned a master's degree in psychiatric nursing at the University of Maryland in 1965.
She also served in the Air Force for four years before coming to Washington.
Her marriage to Milton Speight ended in divorce.
Mrs. Speight is survived by a niece, Sharon Jennings of Hillside, Md., and a nephew, Semmie Jennings of Mount Olive, both of whom she reared following the death of their mother; her mother, Hattie Owens, of Mount Olive; four sisters, Elizabeth Richardson of Baltimore, Hattie Collins, of California; Bessie Crawford, of Long Island, Doris Owens, of New York City, and a brother, Jerry Owens, of Burlington, N.J.