After continually reading in local obituaries over the years about the critical services Hospice of Wake County provides for people just before they die, Reid S. Towler says, he was thinking about making a gift to the charity.
So during a visit to his physician, Dr. Billy Dunlap, one of the founders of Wake Hospice, Towler asked if he could help the group.
The result was a $1 million gift to support construction of Hospice’s new $14.5 million campus on Trinity Road, just west of Interstate 40, on land donated by the state.
The gift, the largest Hospice ever has received from an individual, has helped the group exceed $13 million in its campaign to raise $14.5 million, co-chaired by Dunlap and Smedes York, chairman of York Properties and a former Raleigh mayor.
Hospice will name its Trinity Road site the Reid S. Towler Campus.
“It’s a tribute to our entire staff, our volunteers and our whole program that Mr. Towler would learn all this himself,” Dunlap says. “He was under our radar, we were not approaching him for a gift and he was able to learn about Hospice almost word of mouth. He lives two blocks from me and I never approached him about a gift. He did this on his own.
Towler, a Raleigh native, sold insurance in Raleigh for nearly 50 years for Boston-based New England Mutual.
He attended Myrtle Underwood Elementary School, Needham Broughton High School and Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Va., served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
At New England Mutual, he received The Vanguard Award, the company’s highest honor.
“I am just glad I could give to an organization like Hospice,” Towler says.