Published on July 15, 2020

Grice Retires from NMMC after 30 Years

Mary Grice receptionTUPELO, Miss.—Mary Grice, nurse manager for the Behavioral Health Center, has retired after 30 years of service at North Mississippi Medical Center.

A Chicago native, Grice graduated from Westinghouse High School in 1970. In 1972 she received an associate degree in nursing from Amundsen Mayfair Community College and married Eugene Grice Jr. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from DePaul University in 1974.

Grice began her nursing career with Evangelical Health System in Chicago, where she worked on the cardiology, medical-surgical, orthopedic, pediatric and mental health units. The Grices moved to north Mississippi in 1989 to be near Eugene’s family in Guntown.

She joined the NMMC staff that year, working at the former Baldwyn Hospital for six months. She then transferred to NMMC’s Belle Vista Unit, where mental health patients were treated. She worked as a staff nurse and then interim charge nurse for the chemical dependency unit before becoming the unit’s first nurse educator. The Behavioral Health Center opened in June 1993, and the following year Grice was named nurse manager. She has been certified as a mental health nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center since 1984.

“Not everyone wants to work with mental health patients. I am a good listener, and these people really need someone to listen to them,” Grice said. “They need to see and feel that you care about them.” Even Grice’s nursing shoes reflect her philosophy: the top of one states, “Love what you do,” while the other states, “Do what you love.”

Grice says she has been able to do what she loves throughout her career, which makes retirement bittersweet. “I have been really blessed to meet so many memorable people here,” Grice said. “People have been so good to me in this organization. I’ve learned so much. I’m going to miss this place.”

Retirement will allow her more time with family, which includes Eugene Jr., her husband of 48 years who owns a trucking company in Baldwyn; son Eugene III (Marshandria) and their children, Kison, Micah and Khloe of Saltillo; and son Kolin (Alexis) and their son, Khristian, of Baldwyn. The family also includes five pit bulls—Bankroll, Bella, Kano, Mazzie and Bonnie—and a cat, Spanky.

She attends Full Gospel Deliverance Center in Baldwyn and is an active alum of DePaul University. In retirement, she looks forward to raising a garden and helping educate the community on physical and mental health matters.

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