A Family’s Incredible Legacy of Giving

Amanda Patten

NorthShore has benefited greatly from the tremendous support and generosity of many philanthropic families. Among the most enduring family legacies is the remarkable Patten family, whose three generations of benefactors have made an extraordinary and lasting impact.

The Patten family virtually adopted Evanston Hospital during its formative decades in the early 1900s. Evanston resident James A. Patten felt a moral responsibility to share his wealth with the community after he made his fortune in the grain market. Patten offset the hospital’s annual deficit and personally underwrote medical care for the poor.

His interest in Evanston Hospital began with his wife Amanda’s volunteer service, where she served on the Board of Directors from 1898 until her death in 1935. Amanda Patten organized the hospital’s first Women’s Auxiliary and was a champion of nurses and nursing education. The Patten family funded construction of Patten Hall, a nurses’ residence hall, and later Patten Memorial Hall, a combined residence and teaching facility for the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing.

James Patten gave close to $1 million in cash, real estate and new construction to Evanston Hospital during his lifetime and bequeathed a portion of his estate to the hospital. A trust established by James and Amanda Patten continues to earn substantial income to this day, providing NorthShore with general operating support.

George W. Patten was James’ brother and business partner and a fellow Evanston Hospital benefactor. He also served on the hospital’s Board of Directors. In 1910, George Patten gifted a $500,000 endowment, the single largest donation ever given to the hospital at that time.

James and Amanda Patten’s son John Lowrie Patten continued the family tradition, serving on the hospital’s Board of Directors and establishing a charitable trust that continues to provide NorthShore with general operating support.

John and Renee Patten’s two children, Jane and James Albert Patten, were the third generation of the family to actively support their grandparents’ beloved cause. Jane Patten and her husband Lyle Thompson made a significant contribution to support NorthShore’s Community Wellness Initiative.

Following the deaths of Jane and James, NorthShore has become the beneficiary of more than $3.7 million remaining in a trust John Patten created to benefit his children, and ultimately the hospital system his family so passionately supported.

NorthShore remains endlessly grateful for the generous vision and support of the extended Patten family and the many other families who choose to share their wealth to benefit others today, and for generations to come.

To learn more about including NorthShore in your family estate plan, please contact Kathleen Chappell, JD, Director of Planned Giving, NorthShore Foundation, at 224.364.7211 or kchappell@northshore.org.

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