AP NEWS

Letter: ‘Nathaniel Witherell is a Greenwich gem’

March 6, 2019

To the editor,

In February I lost my 92-year-old father, Earl Stone, after a brief but challenging illness. His body failed him, but he was mentally sharp until the very end. He was a kind and gentle soul, with a dark, dry wit. His idea of staying active was to work into his seventies.

His sober and thrifty habits served his family well, and if he had a motto, it would have been, “Always strive to do your best, put your best foot forward and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.” He sometimes had trouble finding the appropriate words to say what he meant, but he meant what he meant. His formal education began in a one-room school house in rural upstate New York and concluded with his graduation from Clarkson, which he attended on an ROTC scholarship. He served in the U.S. Navy at the Great Lakes Naval Station during World War II, and then as a first lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers in Korea. It is fair to say he was among the last of his great generation.

So perhaps it was fitting that my father spent his final weeks at Nathaniel Witherell, also among the last of its kind. No one of his temperament wants to be at a facility, but in his time of need I could not imagine a better place for him to be. My family cannot praise the staff more highly. The care he received sustained him through some very trying days.

The Nathaniel Witherell is a Greenwich gem. As the town considers its future, it is important to consider not only the cost of its operation, but the service it provides to this community. If the town were to hand over its management to a for-profit entity, its operating deficit would come off the town budget, but at what sacrifice to the quality of care it provides? It is hard to contemplate a loved one ill, so don’t. Enjoy time with your family today. And support the Nathaniel Witherell, so that it is there when you need it.

Janet Stone McGuigan

Old Greenwich