December 13, 1996

Nursing benefactor dies

Hilliard Travis, a lifelong Nashville resident and community leader, was remembered last week by friends at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a caring man who believed in the importance of education.

He died last week at Vanderbilt University Hospital after a brief illness.

Mr. Travis, 81, was involved in several businesses in the area and, in 1942, founded Travis Electric Co.

In 1986, Mr. Travis and his wife, Nancy Dillard Travis, a 1947 graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, responded to the need for nursing scholarships and began supporting an annual scholarship fund for pediatric nursing students. Since then nearly 100 students have benefited from their generosity and prospered in their nursing careers.

"Travis was special," said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing. "He was a great friend to nursing and he will be greatly missed."

Mrs. Travis is a member of the Medical Center Board, is president of the VUMC Auxiliary and is a former president of the Julia Herford Society, the donor society of the Nursing School.

In addition to his wife of 40 years, Mr. Travis is survived by a granddaughter, Mayeti Gametchu of Williamstown, Mass., and by his brother, Wade Travis, of Johnson City, Tn. Mr. Travis was the son of the late Odie and Etta Travis. A brother, Leon, died in 1993.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorials be made to the Hilliard Travis Scholarship Fund at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, or Bellevue United Methodist Church Building Fund, 7501 Old Harding Pike, Nashville, Tn., 37221.