Patient's Legacy One of Caring for Others

Roy F. Kehl

Philanthropist Roy F. Kehl

Roy F. Kehl fought cancer for 24 years, but he spent many more years than that generously honoring his physicians, clinical programs and less fortunate patients of NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore).

Kehl, a musician and scholar, died in February of 2011 at the age of 75, leaving NorthShore a $2 million unrestricted gift through his trust distribution. In fact, for more than 30 years prior to his passing, he used a variety of giving vehicles, including cash and stock, to support several physicians and their work at NorthShore. Clinical programs and areas of focus that benefitted from Kehl’s generosity include the Kellogg Cancer Center, the Hospice Program, care for the medically underserved, and the Division of Gastroenterology (GI) with the naming of the NorthShore Evanston Hospital GI Lab in recognition of his physician and friend, James Rosenberg, MD.  Over his lifetime, Kehl’s giving to NorthShore totaled $4 million.

Kehl was nationally recognized as an organist and choirmaster, and was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of Steinway & Sons piano production.   He was also a train and mass-transit enthusiast and maintained a collection of historical documents and photographs.

His friend and legal advisor Stuart Vogelsmeier recalls that Kehl was a man of many interests and eternally grateful to NorthShore for the care he received over the years, care that allowed him to continue to lead an active life and maintain those passions.

 “As a cancer patient for more than two decades, Roy had spent a lot of time in hospitals and doctors’ offices,” said Vogelsmeier. “He had a great deal of respect and admiration for health care providers. He valued everyone with whom he came in contact with at Evanston Hospital during the course of his treatments.  While I visited him in Evanston Hospital in the fall of 2010 on two occasions, I witnessed appreciation from Roy for the care of the doctors, nurses, technicians, aides and housekeeping staff.” 

Vogelsmeier said his friend had such gratitude for the care that he received at Evanston Hospital that he felt it was his duty to use his resources to assist the Hospital in providing care for future patients.  “His final act of gratitude was to provide a significant gift to the Foundation following his death,” he added. “In typical fashion, Roy did not disclose to anyone at Evanston Hospital or the Foundation that he would be making this gift.   His concern was to provide the funds to assist Hospital programs following his death, rather than being recognized for a gift.  What an outstanding legacy he leaves.”

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