Greenwich, CT – Laurence B. Simon, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Nathaniel Witherell, announced today that the Witherell will receive a bequest of approximately $900,000 from the estate of former Greenwich resident Reinhold Vogel. It was 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. 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.” The Nathaniel Witherell is dedicated to providing the highest level of skilled nursing care and quality of life for older adults. It also offers short-term rehabilitation and sub-acute post-hospitalization care for those in need.
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 years old, 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.