LLUAHSC councilor named ‘Philanthropist of the Year’
Marge Hodge Jetton, a longtime supporter of Loma Linda University and Loma Linda University Medical Center, receives the “Philanthropist of the Year” award from James Piatt, chair, board of directors, Inland Empire Association of Fundraising Professionals. Mrs. Jetton was honored for her lifelong philanthropic endeavors.
Marge Hodge Jetton, a member of the Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Councilors, was honored as “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Inland Empire chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
The event was held on November 15, at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside.
Mrs. Jetton, who celebrated her 101st birthday in September, and her husband James A. Jetton Sr., MD, a 1934 graduate of the School of Medicine, have benefited professional endowments and student loan funds throughout the years. Most recently, they have contributed to the construction of new and planned academic facilities.
Describing their personal philanthropy, the Jettons say, “We feel that giving is a very big part of our lives. We have felt that if there were a legitimate need, we would always find a way to help and give God all the credit. We feel good about supporting Loma Linda University.”
Throughout the years, Mrs. Jetton has devoted her life to helping others. In high school, she debated the right of women to vote and continued the expression throughout her life as a nurse, hospital volunteer, sponsor of several international students, supporter of medical missionary families, and dedicated philanthropist.
In 1926, Ms. Jetton married James A. Jetton, her husband of more than 75 years. After James graduated from college, the couple moved to Loma Linda where he began medical school. Marge frequently worked 20-hour shifts to put her husband through school.
Dr. Jetton later said of his wife, “Marge kept us going through the tough times. Her dedication motivated me to stay in school.”
Throughout the years, Mrs. Jetton worked or volunteered in all three hospital facilities in Loma Linda—the original hotel turned sanitarium, the hospital on the hill (now Nichol Hall), and the current Medical Center.
After Dr. Jetton completed medical school, he began his medical practice in Fallbrook as a general practitioner. Mrs. Jetton assisted him in surgery by giving anesthesia and by running the office.
Following World War II service, Dr. Jetton joined a practice in Bellflower with two other Loma Linda graduates. He remained there in practice until his retirement in 1990.
The Jettons volunteered for two mission relief tours in Zambia and in Ethiopia. Later, they paid the college tuition of an Ethiopian young man whose father they had met. They also sponsored an orphaned Korean girl they read about in church materials.
Volunteering has been a longstanding tradition for Mrs. Jetton. She has contributed her time and talents to multiple organizations including assisting the American Red Cross, saving stamps for the Voice of Prophecy, and serving 15 years in volunteer services at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Dr. Jetton passed away in the summer of 2003.
Mrs. Jetton is featured in the November 2005 issue of National Geographic magazine. The article, written by Dan Buettner, begins: “It’s Friday morning, and Marge Jetton is barreling down the San Bernardino Freeway in her mauve Cadillac Seville. She peers out the windshield from behind dark sunshades, her head barely clearing the steering wheel. Marge, who turned 101 in September, is late for one of several volunteer commitments she has today.... Already this morning she’s walked a mile, lifted weights, and eaten her oatmeal. ‘I don’t know why God gave me the privilege of living so long,’ she says, pointing to herself. ‘But look what
Mrs. Jetton attends the Loma Linda University Church of Seventh-day Adventists and resides in Loma Linda.