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Shoots, Jean, 1926-



  • Existence: 1926-


Jean McDonald Shoots, an African-American nurse, volunteer, writer, and performer, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on April 12, 1926, to George Edward and Christina Robinson McDonald. During the Depression, in the early 1930s, Jean McDonald and her family were sent to live in a tented community in Dennison, Iowa, where men were constructing buildings for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). As a girl, Jean McDonald and her sisters performed as a song-and-dance group. They were featured in their own fifteen-minute radio show in Marshalltown, Iowa. Jean McDonald went on to marry and became known as Jean Shoots. She had one son.

Jean Shoots received her practical nursing degree from a school for special surgery in New York City after receiving her general equivalency diploma (GED). She later earned a degree in registered nursing from Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. Shoots spent most of her career as a registered nurse in Iowa City, Iowa, including several years at the Veterans' Hospital and at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

After her retirement from nursing, Shoots volunteered her time with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)and the Youth and Elderly in Service program (YES) in Iowa City, Iowa. She also served on the Citizen's Advisory Committee of the Iowa City Press-Citizen. She received an award from Governor Terry Branstad at the Governor's Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in 1997. In 1998, she was the keynote speaker at a University of Iowa Community Convocation in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Week. Shoots also became active in the creative arts in Iowa City: she wrote short stories, acted in the Seniors Standing Room Only (SSRO)group, and performed in the Iowa City public-access television shows, "Open Channel" and "Letters to My Sister."

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Jean Shoots papers

Identifier: IWA0308

Writer, performer, volunteer, and nurse in Iowa City.

Dates: 1990-1998