When Bill McLaughlin, who would have been 81 on June 15, died on June 28 of last year following a lengthy battle with heart disease, stroke and cancer, Connie wanted to do something special to honor his memory.
“As a funeral director, Bill served so many families during their time of need. I wanted to do something to honor the kind of person he was, as well as provide something good for other people, too,” Connie said. “Our family, friends and I spent a lot of time at the hospital during Bill’s last days, and when I heard about their efforts to try to have a chapel again, I felt led to help with that.”
Thanks to Mrs. McLaughlin’s financial support of the chapel project, Bothwell Regional Health Center is moving forward with plans to remodel office and storage space located near the main elevators on the hospital’s first floor. The room will be named the Bill G. and Connie Spry McLaughlin Inter-Faith Chapel.
Other major donors contributing to the project include the Olen Howard Charitable Foundation and Janet Proctor. The Howard Foundation supports many community projects and is named in honor of the late Olen Howard, who owned and operated Howard Quarries, Howard Farms and other business interests. The foundation is overseen by his daughters Darlene Bradbury and Shirley Rowden, both of Sedalia.
Mrs. Proctor donated to the chapel to honor her husband Donald, who was a family physician and practiced medicine at the hospital for 37 years. Although he was retired at the time, he was the first physician appointed to the hospital’s Board of Trustees in 1994.
“The Inter-Faith Chapel will be a space for families to celebrate in times of joy, such as the birth of a child, or to seek solace in times of sorrow,” said Bothwell President and Chief Executive Officer John Dawes. “We are so grateful to these donors and to the many others who have supported this project.”
Design work is under way on the 190-square-foot room, which will feature soft lighting, natural wall and floor finishes and chairs with kneelers. Remodeling will begin once the design has been finalized.
Donations can still be made for the chapel project by calling the Bothwell Regional Health Center Foundation at 660-826-6263, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.brhc.org, click on Giving, Make a Gift and then select the Inter-Faith Chapel.
The former chapel at the hospital was converted to a classroom after it was no longer used by public because it was difficult to access following multiple hospital remodeling projects. The space will soon be renamed the Marion West Learning Center in honor of the donor whose gift in the late 1960s built the chapel as well as the two floors above it.