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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

A favorite Ontario RN instructor remembered

March 22, 2016

Ontario RN instructor Ted Creekmur“With deep sadness, SJVC’s Ontario campus lost a beloved instructor, a friend, a mentor, a brother, and a great human being, from a tragic accident last February 11,” says Aurora Gumamit, Assistant Director of SJVC Ontario’s Registered Nursing program. The loss of Ted Creekmur was felt across the campus and stretched into the lives of many in the medical community.

The church where Mr. Creekmur’s service was held overflowed with those who came to pay tribute to his legacy of mentorship and devotion to his field of study and practice. “The church was packed and had people standing in the back,” says Aurora. “We had about 30 SJVC attendees, and students and instructors from other campuses where he taught.”

Ted Creekmur was an instructor, a person, who touched many lives over the years. He was an instructor in Mental Health Nursing for 12 years, and had been a charge nurse/lead in the Department of Mental Health in Los Angeles County for 33 years.

“Our hearts broke when hearing of the passing of Professor Creekmur,” says Jeannette Macaraig, member of SJVC’s 2016 Nursing Class. “We felt accomplished and successful because of his support and confidence in us.”

Ted had an easygoing reputation and a casual look that made people immediately comfortable. “It was very easy to read Ted as an ordinary person with ordinary skills,” says Aurora. “Beneath that almost unkempt appearance and half untucked shirt was an extremely intelligent person whose knowledge in politics, religion and history made us who knew him respect him and look at him in awe and wonder.”

He was an instructor who loved his subject and the students who counted on him to give them his best. “Many nursing students are a little scared about the mental health class, the stigma of mental health,” says Aurora. “But because of his years in mental health nursing, he regaled them with lots of stories of his patient interactions. He was a very funny guy.”

All appreciated Ted’s unique gifts. “He was the absent-minded professor; that’s what you get with him,” says Aurora. “And that’s what made it fun to work with him.” It was not so much that he always had a smile on his face. “It’s more like a goofy grin,” says Aurora.

He left a lasting mark on his eager charges. “We will forever remember his sense of humor…but more importantly, the impact he had on our lives and future roles as nursing professionals,” says Jeannette.

This year, Ted’s RN students made him promise that he would attend their Pinning Ceremony scheduled for April 22nd. It would have been his first. Ted’s wife will be there on his behalf and there will be an empty chair and a few moments of silence to honor their revered instructor.

“It is going to be a very, very emotional experience for us,” says Aurora. “We will all mourn his departure from this world, but we will always be thankful for having known him and the laughter that he generously shared.”

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