CARTHAGE In an effort thats been a few years in the making, the surgical unit at Carthage Area Hospital now displays a plaque noting its benefactor.
Following her death in 2004, Mary L. Chiffy was identified as the anonymous donor of a half-million-dollar endowment to the hospital foundation that was used to help fund the recent hospital expansion.
I am absolutely thrilled. She was a very special person, Mrs. Chiffys niece, Mary Lou Barker, said upon seeing the plaque for the first time. She was very appreciative of the community who were her customers.
I was flabbergasted when I learned how much she donated, she said.
Mrs. Chiffy and her husband, the late John F. Chiffy, owned and operated a wholesale meat business on Broad Street, West Carthage, and he also was a dealer in cattle and calves. According to a Carthage Republican Tribune article, Mr. Chiffy also dabbled in the stock market and was quite successful in his investments. Following her husbands death in 1962, Mrs. Chiffy continued to invest and to help people in need as her husband had.
She was very visionary, said Mrs. Chiffys great-niece, Jan B. LaRock, noting the donation to the hospital would benefit the most people, ranging from children to adults.
She would be very thrilled, Mrs. LaRock said.
I am so pleased this could come to fruition, said Yolanda Skvorak, president of the hospital auxiliary. Mrs. Skvorak was instrumental in creating the dedication plaque, which features a picture of Mrs. Chiffy taken about 10 years before her death at age 93.
The plaque states, Mary loved her family, her friends, her church, and her community. She was a lifelong servant of Carthage Area Hospital. Her generous gift ensures her commitment lasts in perpetuity. It also quotes William James: The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.
I was very moved when I saw it, Mrs. Barker said. The write-up is so beautiful.