A memorial scholarship keeps the memory of a young nurse and her mother alive, after they were killed by an alleged drunk driver exactly one year ago today.
32 year old Ronni Ducommon and her mother Janet…killed by a suspected drunk driver in Newton County.
“With one year being today, how are you guys feeling?” I asked their family.
“I don’t think there’s words,” says Angela Ducommun.
Janet Ducommun, a mother, a teacher, and a devout Catholic.
“She never missed mass. Not once. Like as a kid if it was a snow day, she had the missal, and we would have church around the kitchen table,” says Angela Ducommun.
Janet survived polycystic kidney disease and got a double organ transplant.
“So you know..we had just started to relax…we had just celebrated two years post transplant,” says Angela Ducommun.
In Janet’s honor, the family raises money for the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation.
“So many people in the community donated and when we would look and check and see these names, it was just, just went straight to our hearts,” says Angela Ducommun.
Ronni was a registered nurse for more than 11 years at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Louis.
“When you were working with Ronni you never had a bad night, she could make you smile, she could make you laugh, she could make you cry. She was a very big and known presence on the unit. And you know after her passing it was really difficult trying to fill that gap,” says Ashley Haupert.
To honor her memory, friends and family helped create a scholarship in her name for future nursing students.
“To have so many people stand up and say that she mattered and is going to continue to matter,” says Angela Ducommun.
A local business matched those donations, doubling the amount.
“As it stands now there are enough funds to last for 32 years, which is exactly how old she was,” says Angela Ducommun.
The first winner was recently selected.
“I really hope to carry on the way she treated her patients, how she cared for her patients,” says Ashley Haupert.
Haupert personally knew ronni and hopes to now carry on her legacy.
“She you know taught everyone and she was just a leader on the unit,” says Haupert.