Shirley M. Branch Delly, affectionately known as “Nurse Branch” and one of Baltimore’s first generation of Black nurses to work at Sinai Hospital on W. Belvedere Ave., died peacefully at 94 years old at Westminster Healthcare Center on Thursday, June 29th, 2023.
Shirley began working at Sinai Hospital in 1966, after a friend told her the hospital was seeking women of color to support the community with an integrated staff. As a graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Practical Nursing, she was excited to be a member of Sinai’s OB-GYN department.
During her tenure she petitioned Sinai’s management to create a separate clinic for teenage mothers, to provide them peer to peer support and an environment free of stigma. This dedication to the needs of young, first-time mothers endeared her to countless women and served as a legacy of empathetic nursing she would carry out the rest of her life.
Shirley also supported the work for teenage girls at Florence Crittendon in Baltimore, where she worked as a weekend nurse from 1985-1992, finally retiring from nursing in 1993.
A loyal friend and devoted mother, she leaves behind one son, Vernon Howard of Baltimore, and three daughters, Dana E. Smith of Gwynn Oak, Baltimore County, Aarona Jordan of Hollywood Fl, and Dawn Waller of Raleigh, NC, and a wonderful future with 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren!
A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held Saturday, July 22, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Brown’s Chapel, 4002 Ridgewood Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215. For further information or access to the virtual service, please contact Mr. Geoffrey Miller at (410) 327-2777.