GLENS FALLS — Two huge gifts could change Glens Falls Hospital and Crandall Public Library for generations.
A local attorney has bequeathed $2.2 million each to Glens Falls Hospital and Crandall Public Library.
Lifelong Glens Falls resident John E. Herlihy died in July. He left the endowments in his will, and they were announced Monday.
“We are truly humbled by Mr. Herlihy’s thoughtfulness,” said Kate Schwenker, chairwoman of the Glens Falls Hospital Foundation board of trustees. “We will honor his legacy by ensuring that the hospital uses these funds to continue increasing the community’s access to high-quality care.”
The hospital, which closed several services last year after struggling financially, has many needs and officials aren’t yet sure what the money will be used to fund.
“With a gift of this magnitude, we want to be sure we honor John E. Herlihy ’s legacy,” hospital spokeswoman Katelyn Cinzio said in an email. “As we continue to plan for our affiliation and identify long-term needs for Glens Falls Hospital and the communities we serve, we intend to plan thoughtfully to maximize the impact of this important gift.”
It is the second-largest gift the hospital has ever received.
The hospital is planning to affiliate with Albany Medical Center later this year, in an effort to reduce costs through savings of scale and utilizing Albany Med specialists to bring needed help to certain programs. No details have been announced yet.
Library officials said the gift could make a big difference to them as the library plans its next steps.
“As the library begins a new strategic planning process this year, his incredible generosity will impact how we, together with our stakeholders, can continue to best serve the library community,” said Barbara Caimano, president of the Crandall Public Library board of trustees, in a news release.
The last strategic plan, from 2015, pledged to consider the feasibility of a second library branch, in North Queensbury or Moreau. The plan also called for a library-by-mail program, which launched in 2017 with the support of private donations.
Herlihy was born on July 25, 1929, in Glens Falls. He died on July 15, 10 days shy of his 90th birthday. He died at Glens Falls Hospital, surrounded by his closest friends.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, First Marine Airwing in Japan and Korea from 1951 to 1953. For defending South Korea, he earned several medals, including the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
He was proud of his service and joined Glens Falls Post No. 233 of the American Legion, where he was a member for 50 years and was a commander. He was also a life member of the Marine Corps League.
Herlihy began his legal career in the mid-1950s as a research assistant and speechwriter for Lt. Gov. George DeLuca. He then became a partner in the law office of Singleton and Herlihy, where he served as general counsel to Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co. for many years.
Herlihy and his late wife, Jeanne Ellsworth Herlihy, were both born in Glens Falls and are graduates of St. Mary’s Academy. John Herlihy went on to graduate from Skidmore College and Albany Law School, while Jeanne Herlihy graduated from the State University of New York Morrisville.
They were both involved in many charitable groups.
He took particular joy in one charitable accomplishment. While he was president of St. Mary’s Academy Alumnae Association, the association bought a new station wagon for the Sisters of St. Joseph living in St. Mary’s Convent.
His wife, Jeanne Herlihy, was a member of the Glens Falls Hospital Guild and the Glens Falls Association for the Blind.
She died in 2012 at Stanton Nursing Centre, which is now Glens Falls Center. They were married for 52 years.
Herlihy was also predeceased by his two siblings. He was survived by three nieces.
In this Series
- 47 updates
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.