Photo: Ms. Eula Bell Lofton and the Calumet City Council
Thaddeus Jones-Mayor of Calumet City, Illinois was joined by the Calumet City Council, Regional elected officials, and residents as they honored and celebrated the 100th Birthday of Cook County’s oldest retired nurse, Ms. Eula Bell Lofton. Ms. Lofton was honored during a recent Calumet City City Council meeting and at her birthday party that was held at the Victory Centre in Calumet City.
Mayor Jones and the City Council felt compelled to honor Ms. Lofton not only for her birthday but for her 40-plus years of being an emergency room nurse. Ms. Lofton retired from nursing while being employed at Cook County Provident Hospital. Mother Lofton has given her life to the upward mobility of African American women in their quest to enter the healthcare field.
“Mother Lofton is a crown jewel within our community who has been steadfast in her efforts to advocate for more women of color to enter the healthcare field. This has been her mission for 75 years. But moreover, she is part of a unique company of living nurses who have lived to see 100 years of precious life. Her lifetime of achievement as a nurse is worthy of recognition and honor.” says Mayor Jones.
7th Ward Alderman Anthony Smith adds, “I am personally grateful to Ms. Lofton’s contributions to the upward mobility of the African American community. She clearly has her own page within the Black history book of Cook County. I admire her wonderful spirit and colorful personality. Her zest for life is second to none.”
Ms. Lofton was born on May 16, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois to the parents of Elsie Bell Whitman and Charles Henry Jones. Eula was the oldest of three children. Eula was raised in Chicago and attended Chicago public schools on the Southside of Chicago. Eula went to DuSable High School where she graduated with honors. She went on to finish her education at Chicago State University where she studied nursing. After college, Eula began work as an emergency room nurse. She worked at Michael Reese Hospital. While working at Michael Reese, Eula met her first husband and was married to Milton Flanagan for 12 years. They did not have any children together. After her divorce from Milton, she moved to Detroit, Michigan to live with her brother Wayman for five years.
After a brief stay in Detroit, Eula moved back to Chicago and began working at Providence Hospital as an emergency room nurse. It was during those years while working at Providence that she met her husband, Willie Lofton. Eula and Willie moved to Chicago Heights, IL where Eula continued working at Providence Hospital as an emergency room nurse. Willie became a minister of a small missionary Baptist church in Chicago Heights, IL where he also owned a religious radio station. Willie Lofton was well known in the community and was well-liked by everyone that knew him.
After Willie Lofton’s passing, Eula joined Saint James ME Church missionary society in Chicago Heights, IL where she worked with the ministry for over twelve years. Eula joined Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, IL. Eula has been a member since 12/29/2001 she has been very involved in different Ministries. Women’s Fellowship, Savvy Seniors, Rev. Ozzie’s Noon Bible Class, and Sunday School. Eula was very active at Covenant United Church of Christ until her health started to fail. Eula moved to Dolton, IL where she remained for several years before moving into Victory Centre.
Eula currently resides at Victory Centre Supportive Living & Senior Apartments. On the 16th of May 2022, Eula will have reached a milestone and will turn 100 years young.