The Nathaniel Witherell will receive a bequest of approximately $900,000 from the estate of former Greenwich resident Reinhold Vogel. It is one of the largest single gifts in the facility’s recent history. In accordance with Mr. Vogel’s wishes, the funds are to be used to enhance the Witherell’s physical facility and residents’ lives, or to establish an endowment.
News of the bequest was shared Tuesday by Witherell board of directors chair Laurence Simon.
Mr. Simon noted that the funds may not take the place of the Town’s regular appropriation and will be under the control of the Board of Directors to be spent in the matter described. He said the Witherell expects to receive the funds by the end of March.
“We deeply appreciate Mr. Vogel’s extraordinary generosity and support of the Witherell,” said Mr. Simon, who noted that the gift came as a surprise. “Mr. Vogel had not been one of our residents or patients but, through his gift, considered us as an important Greenwich community asset.”
Reinhard Vogel passed away in February, 2022 at the age of 91. During the course of his career, he developed digital circuitry for advanced radar systems and F15 and F16 fighter planes, as well as equipment to track missile launches. He was born in New York City and moved to Greenwich as an adult, where he was a member of the Old Greenwich Yacht Club and the Captain Harbor Power Squadron. According to an account in Greenwich Time several years ago, he recalled that when he was six, he observed the Hindenburg over the skies of Manhattan shortly before it exploded.
“It was gigantic. It came right over 136th Street where I was, and I could just see it going and said, ‘Where does it end?’ And then it burned up in Lakehurst, New Jersey…where there was a storm.”
He earned a BSEE degree from CCNY and MSEE and EE degrees from Columbia University.
Nathaniel Witherell is a short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing center of care, located on 24 acres just two miles from downtown Greenwich, Connecticut. The Witherell is committed to person-centered care provided by a compassionate and experienced staff. Short-term rehabilitation and sub-acute post-hospitalization are offered daily. The nonprofit is owned and operated by the Town of Greenwich and has been serving the community for over 118 years, reflecting the community’s collective commitment to provide for the Town’s elderly when home care is no longer an option.