Dr. John C. and Else V. Korvell Memorial Scholarship

Dr. John C. and Else V. Korvell Memorial Scholarship

Else (“Elsa”) Veile Korvell was born in Worland, Wyoming of Danish immigrants. She was one of two identical twins. Both sisters were interested in nursing and started their studies at the University of Denver. Else transferred to the University of Washington, completing her nursing degree with a specialty in public health. While her fiancé, Jack, completed his UW degree, Else returned to Wyoming working as a public health nurse in rural areas.

While raising her family of three in Hoquiam, Else became involved in civic duty, serving on the planning commission, was appointed to various state wide commissions by Governor Dan Evans and later, elected as Hoquiam’s first female city council member. She also had a keen interest in the arts and music. Else was active with the “Community Theatre” organization and the Grays Harbor Opera Guild.

Jack Korvell was born in 1915 in Chicago, III of Polish immigrants. His family moved to Port Townsend WA where he spent the bulk of his youth. Daily, before school, Jack worked stacking wood for the local hospital’s boiler. It was at that time he was taken “under wing” by a couple local doctors who fueled his interest in science and medicine. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Washington and then earned his medical doctorate at the University of Louisville. It was at UW he met his future bride, Else Veile.  

Shortly after his medical degree, he served in WW2 as a Navy surgeon in the Pacific theatre. Upon his return to Seattle, the family moved to Hoquiam, about 1949, to start a medical practice. The pictures on the office wall were barely hung when he was recalled to serve in Korea. This time, he was assigned to the Marine Corps. After the war, he finally was able to start that medical practice which lasted until he was nearly 80 years old. That practice was a true small town family practice including everything from obstetrics, a geriatric specialty, surgery, and as he used to say even a little veterinary work!

Both Else and Jack were dedicated to the idea that a struggling student, with a little help, could realize their dreams. For example, they were prime sponsors of Grays Harbor’s “Dollars for Scholars” fund at Grays Harbor College. It is with that idea that this scholarship was created in their name. This scholarship is for $1,000 for one year to study in any field.