DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — 2 NEWS is honoring Virginia Kettering’s impact on the Dayton area. She gifted over 150 million dollars to the community in her lifetime, supporting healthcare and the arts.
The story of Kettering began in Chicago in the late 1940s. Virginia and her husband Eugene gave a gift to help research polio after a neighbor’s child got the disease.
Following her father-in-law Charles Kettering’s death in 1958, the couple relocated to Dayton and committed to build a memorial in his honor.
That memorial is known as the Charles F. Kettering Memorial Hospital, but it was Virginia’s volunteer work in Chicago that brought the values that stand at the hospital to this day.
“It was an opportunity for them to give back,” Tim Dutton, Executive Vice President Mission, Brand, and People at Kettering Health, said. “They committed two thirds of what it cost to build the hospital at that time, and Virginia, because of her experience in Hinsdale, wanted to bring that experience here in legacy and memorial for her father-in-law.”
Kettering Health Network is now the second largest employer in the region.
Other achievements include providing leadership to the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the Dayton Art Institute.