Contact: Merv Webb
Vice President, RMH Foundation
The RMH Foundation has received a gift of $1,575,651 from the estate of Edward B. Yancey, a Harrisonburg native who became an executive with the Du Pont Company.
In honor of Mr. Yancey and in accordance with his wishes, the RMH Foundation has established the “Edward Yancey Named Endowed Fund” that will provide annual income for equipment and program needs throughout the Hospital.
“This is truly an extraordinary gift both in terms of the amount of money and in the foresight Mr. Yancey had in 1948 to make provisions for this gift,” said RMH President Jim Krauss. “As instructed by Mr. Yancey, this gift will become part of, and a great boost to, our endowment.”
Mr. Yancey was born in Harrisonburg in 1888 and attended city schools. After graduating from high school, he went on to receive a degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he was employed by the Du Pont Company in the area of military and commercial explosives. He later became manager of several explosives plants for Du Pont.
In 1913, he married Jessie Willits of Philadelphia, the daughter of Rear Admiral G.S. Willits, U.S.N. About 1935, Mr. and Mrs. Yancey purchased their first farm southeast of Harrisonburg and later added other tracts of land to expand it to over 1,000 acres. They primarily used the farm to develop herds of livestock.
When he wrote his will in 1948, Mr. Yancey made provisions for 13 of his relatives for the remainder of their lives. He went on to stipulate that after the passing of the last relative, the remainder of his estate should be given to Rockingham Memorial Hospital “for its general endowment.” His last living relative, Dorothy Yancey Garber, a niece, of Harrisonburg passed away in April of this year.
“It’s a bit unusual for RMH to receive a bequest 63 years after its writing, but we’re delighted that Mr. Yancey’s wishes were honored to meet the needs of his family, and now will meet the needs of our patients,” said RMH Foundation Vice President Merv Webb. “I’m also thrilled that back in 1948, Mr. Yancey had the foresight and confidence that Rockingham Memorial Hospital would continue to grow and be in a position to honor his wish for an endowment.”