Florence “SeeSee” Rigney started out as a nursing student in 1946. On Thursday, she celebrated her 90th birthday at the hospital where she still works.
SeeSee’s coworkers at Tacoma General Hospital presented her with flowers, a birthday crown and even a sash to celebrate the big day. SeeSee seemed delighted with the fanfare. She joked about being in bed that morning overwhelmed by her age, to which everyone responded with more laughter.
“I thank you all,” she said. “You are all wonderful.”
A letter from Washington Governor Jay Inslee was also read to the birthday girl.
The CEO of Multicare hospitals, Bill Robertson, also wrote a message in her honor, pointing out that she is the oldest working nurse in the country.
“Just imagine all the changes SeeSee has seen in her life since she graduated from high school — in 1943,” he wrote. “Listening to some of the details of the experiences she has had over the course of a wonderful life is inspiring.”
SeeSee is known for her enthusiasm and love of learning; it’s even where her nickname came from. People started calling her that when she would exclaim, “See, see,” to show a teacher how well she knew her lessons.
The celebration, of course, ended with a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” for a very grateful SeeSee.