Stories of Planned Giving

The stories told below speak volumes about lives well-lived, plans well-made, and charitable outcomes that will ensure a future for us all that can truly be “Better Than Normal.”

Stories of Planned Gifts

Bill & Elaine Henry's Story

A physician who had devoted his professional career to caring for children, and on his final journey home, received the same high standard of care from one of his former patients.

Hartford HealthCare has played a vital role in many of our lives, from the professionals who cared for us as infants to the first responders there for us when emergency strikes.

Hear Bill & Elaine's Story

Roger's Story

Diagnosed in 1986 with a blocked artery, Roger Klene underwent a heart bypass here at Hartford Hospital.

“I will always be indebted to the doctors at Hartford Hospital for their skill and caring,” says Roger. He and his wife, Debbie Klene, have given consistently and generously for years.

“We both recognize that what Hartford Hospital offers us, and the whole community, stems from the contributions of thousands of givers who came before us and set the example for us to follow,” Roger says. “We also recognize that it’s our turn, our responsibility to contribute and, to the best of our ability, serve as examples to future generations when it comes to stepping up to support this institution that is so critical to our well-being.”

Marjorie's Story

Marjorie Butcher never missed Focus on Health luncheons, and for nearly 20 years, she made charitable contributions to the hospital’s hospice program

She made those donations in memory of her husband Robert W. Butcher, who had been an actuary at Travelers Insurance Companies.

To honor the skill and caring of physicians Kenneth Knox, MD, Lawrence Pareles, MD, Alexander Gaudio, MD, and Kyung Chung, MD, Marjorie established the Robert W. and Marjorie V. Butcher Endowment Fund. Marjorie was a great friend to Hartford Hospital and her thoughtful planning continues to touch lives at Hartford Hospital. Her legacy will support the hospital’s mission of improving the health and healing of the people and communities we serve for years to come.

Janet's Story

During her lifetime Janet Rice was devoted to Hartford Hospital.

For nearly 20 years, she was a volunteer at the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, serving at the reception desk. In gratitude for the care her husband, Ned, received from Andrew Salner, MD, and the cancer institute team, Janet established two endowed funds at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital.

Janet and Ned arranged for their respective beneficiary interests in a UTC Savings Plan to be reassigned to Hartford Hospital, and upon their deaths, the resulting distributions to their endowed funds totaled nearly 5 times the amount of their total lifetime giving.

Frederick S. and Grace E. Bliss

In 1972, the hospital completed its first major addition of the modern era, the Bliss Wing, which was made possible by a substantial bequest to the hospital thanks to the generous estate planning of Frederick S. and Grace E. Bliss.

When Frederick Bliss died in 1943, his sister, Grace Bliss, was seventy-eight years old. Fred’s will created a trust for the benefit of Grace, and when she died in 1966, at the age of approximately 102 years, Hartford Hospital received a share of the trust’s remaining principal.

As an outcome of their plans, the $16 million Bliss Wing provided four floors of patient rooms, a new kitchen and dining area, and additional radiology, outpatient, and surgical facilities. As construction continues to expand and improve upon this prominent facility today, the Bliss name, and their generous legacy, stands prominently at the center of the hospital’s infrastructure and is central to the performance of its mission.

Just think how far your gift could go, how much good it could do for so many others, and all for some thoughtful planning today.

Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

In 1998, the hospital’s mental health division, the Institute of Living, received the single largest gift in the hospital’s history. A bequest of $20 million from the Holton Family Trust was augmented by the Olin Family and other donors to develop a center for schizophrenia research… the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center opened in 2003.

Patrick O'Reilly

An Irish immigrant, who served with General Custer and was wounded and captured in the Civil War, O’Reilly was mustered out and returned to Hartford, partially-disabled and in poor health. O’Reilly was admitted to Hartford Hospital, where he received good care but eventually died. With no family members to consider, he bequeathed everything to the hospital…counting his back pay and other soldier’s benefits, the hospital realized $200 from his generosity. Patrick O’Reilly’s $200 bequest in 1865 was the equivalent of $3,150 in 2019 dollars.

David Watkinson

In addition to purchasing and donating the land for the new Hartford Hospital, when Watkinson died in 1857, his estate left $40,000 to the new hospital—providing the resources needed to finish construction, open the hospital to patients, and  that would be a major source of operating income for years.

As early as 1862, the hospital’s directors published a bequest form in the Annual Report and every year they urged the well-to-do citizens of Hartford to visit the hospital, see the good work that was being done there, and remember it, either in life or in their wills. These measures were largely successful. By the decade’s end, the endowment had grown to include 17 major trusts…allowing the endowment to cover 46% of the hospital’s operating costs. Members of many of Hartford’s wealthiest families included the hospital in their wills, thereby sustaining the overall endowment, as did people of more modest means.

The 1854 Society recognizes and honors every person who has planned a gift for the benefit of Hartford Hospital, regardless of your “means.”

Simply sharing with us the fact that those plans have been put in place can qualify you for membership in the 1854 Society.

Learn About the 1854 Society

All gifts are subject to our Gift Acceptance Policy

We encourage you to talk with us about your plans in advance to make sure that we can help you assure the best possible outcome for all parties concerned.

Learn more about our Gift Acceptance Policy

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