Rosemary T. McCarthy, 85, a retired Army colonel who served 30 years in the Army Nurse Corps, died June 7 at the Sacred Heart Home, a Hyattsville nursing facility. She had hypertension, congestive heart failure and kidney disease, according to her friend and executor, Doris Lee.
Col. McCarthy joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1953 and was posted to hospitals in Texas, Japan, Korea, California and Hawaii. In Washington, she was a research nurse at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She was a nursing consultant to the office of the surgeon general and also was an Army Nurse Corps historian.
After retiring from the Army in 1983, Col. McCarthy taught nursing at Catholic University from 1983 to 1990 and at Georgetown University from 1990 to 1995.
Rosemary Teresa McCarthy was born in Boston. In 1948, she received a nursing diploma from the school of nursing of McLean Hospital, near Boston.
While serving in the Army Nurse Corps, she received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1956, a master’s degree in biology from Boston University in 1967 and a doctorate in nursing science from Catholic University in 1974.
In 1982, Col. McCarthy co-founded the American Association for the History of Nursing. She was its president from 1986 to 1988 and its executive director from 1988 to 1998. She was president of the Retired Army Nurse Corps Association (now the Army Nurse Corps Association) from 1990 to 1992.
In 1987, she was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to an advisory board for the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
Col. McCarthy was a longtime resident of Capitol Hill, and she chaired the social concerns committee of St. Peter’s Catholic Church. She enjoyed international travel.
In 2009, she moved to the Sacred Heart Home in Hyattsville.
There are no immediate survivors.
— Bart Barnes