Ona M Parmenter

Ona M Parmenter


Ona M. Parmenter was born March 20, 1889 in Clark, South Dakota, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Parmenter. She was one of the first nurses to be graduated from McKennan Hospital Training School (now Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1914. After a period of private nursing, she went to Africa in 1920 with the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS), where she was the first to begin medical work at the Methodist Episcopal Church’s Mutambara Mission in Southern Rhodesia.

Nurse Parmenter transferred to Nyadire Mission in 1926 and assumed responsibility for all medical work at the mission when Dr. Montgomery left the following year. She continued at Nyadire until 1931, taking care of in-patients and helping to train African girls in practical nursing. As of 1936, she was at Umtali in charge of the Girl’s Hostel. She was later at Old Umtali Mission.

Nurse Parmenter had retired by 1953, and returned to the United States living in Los Angeles, California. She died March 3, 1977 in Los Angeles.


  • Mark Loomis