The American Red Cross has a World War II volunteer to thank after her family gave a generous donation to the organization in her name.
Priscilla Nicholson-Still passed away earlier this year, but not before leaving something in her will - a donation to be given to any organization of her children’s choosing. Hallie Still-Caris and Cynthia Birk, daughters of Still, decided with their siblings to honor their mother’s life by giving a memorial contribution to the Red Cross, but wanted to share their parents’ enchanting story as well.
While living in Kentucky in 1945, Still and a friend decided to join the Red Cross. They traveled to an unknown location on May 11, 1945 - a day that is now known as Victory in Europe Day, though the two didn’t know this at the time. Still arrived in Casablanca, Morocco to run the Red Cross’s Enlisted Men’s Club, where she organized the entertainment and dances for the soldiers on duty.
“Our father happened to be stationed there at the time as well,” Birk said. “He was in the service, and he had actually been in North Africa for three years.”
At the time, John Julius Still had broken his leg playing baseball, so his leisurely activity consisted of participating in bridge games at the club where Priscilla worked, Birk said. Eventually, her fill-in positions in the bridge games led her to her future husband.
Later in the war, John Still received news he would be discharged, while Priscilla Still was scheduled to move to a different base in Japan. Instead, he asked her marry him, and the two left the war together to start their new lives in Alabama and later Iowa.
Birk said she remembers her mother attended a Red Cross reunion for those who volunteered during the war. What happened to the woman with whom she joined so many years ago? She and Priscilla Still stayed in touch throughout the years and visited one another from time to time.
Years later for their 47th wedding anniversary, the couple traveled back to Casablanca to reminisce in the place they met. Although much has changed in Casablanca since the war, the memories remained. Priscilla and John Still’s children believed the memorial to the Red Cross would be an appropriate choice and what their mother would’ve wanted.
“It was something that we knew was an important time in her life, which is why we selected the Red Cross as the organization to benefit when she died,” Still-Caris said.
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