Friday, September 24, 1999


Marta Nina Caviezel a mentor to generations at Hillsdale School

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Marta Nina Caviezel, longtime nurse, faculty member and mentor at the former Hillsdale School for Girls, died Sept. 15 at Jewish Hospital of heart failure.

        The Mount Lookout resident was 92.

        Friend and neighbor Edgar M. Richardson characterized her as a “combination of soul and intellect, spirit and mind.”

        He said Miss Caviezel embraced “no organized religion, has no definite educational philosophy, no particular dogma or creed. But liberating? Yes. Refreshing? Yes. Thought-provoking? Yes. Open-minded? By all means.”

        Even as her sight failed, Miss Caviezel kept up with events, in part with a radio that broadcast the sound from TV news.

        Miss Caviezel came from Switzerland in 1933 as a private-duty nurse and joined her widowed uncle, Theodore Alphonse Christian, in North Avondale a year later.

        At Hillsdale — now Seven Hills School — she was the registered nurse and study hall proctor from 1945-73.

        Former student Melissa Morris Mishoe described her as “friendly and upbeat.”

        Multilingual, Miss Caviezel always found the right word to say what had to be said diplomatically, alumna and neighbor Jane Tomlin Westendorf said. If that didn't suffice, she'd invite a troubled girl into her office for tea.

        “Then you could go back and deal with the world,” Mrs. Westendorf said.

        Mrs. Westendorf said a private side of Miss Caviezel involved support of Hillsdale students who needed money for college or graduate school. This extended even to their children in some instances, she added.

        Where the money came from was unclear, but it was given without reserve.

        Mr. Richardson and his wife, Kathy, a teacher at the school, learned this when Miss Caviezel lent them the down payment for their home and co-signed their mortgage.

        “She was really a surrogate mother to both of us,” Mr. Richardson said.

        Surviving is a companion of 10 years, Maria Zineau of Finneytown.

        A memorial service will be 2:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Lotspeich Library of Seven Hills School, 5400 Red Bank Road in Madisonville.

        Her remains were donated to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

        Memorials can be made to Doctors Without Borders, 6 E. 39th St., Eighth floor, New York, NY 10016, or to Seven Hills School.


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