C. Bernard and Irene Shea had been involved with the Fairview community while in the Berkshires.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Fairview Hospital has received a $1.5 million bequest from the estate of C. Bernard and Irene Shea, former residents of Sheffield.
The gift is the second from the C. Bernard and Irene Shea Trust. Fairview received an initial gift of $667,000 from the trust in 1998. Mrs. Shea died at age 99 in November 2012. Mr. Shea died in 1961.
The Sheas were part-time resident of the Berkshires between 1942 and 1986.
C. Bernard Shea was a World War I veteran and a prominent businessman in Pittsburgh. They first came to the area for three months of fresh air and bed rest when he was ill. They loved the Berkshires and found it a special place where there was united support for the community hospital. Both became very active members of the Fairview community. The Sheas were also members of Wyantenuck Country Club.
Both were involved with Fairview and Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh. C. Bernard Shea served on Fairview's board of trustees and Irene Ciemnolonski Shea, who was trained as a nurse, was a volunteer and director of the Fairview Auxiliary, often working 12-hour days to lead volunteers serving the hospital staff and patients. She was active in many fundraising efforts and spearheaded the initiative to build the Physicians Office Building on the Fairview campus.
Fairview President Eugene Dellea expressed his gratitude for the many contributions of the Sheas.
"This gift was made in recognition of the importance that access to high quality health care has on the well-being of a community," he wrote. "Through their own health issues, the Shea's knew the value of having a hospital nearby and they appreciated the special nature of Fairview. Their legacy will help sustain their belief that a hospital is critical to the southern Berkshire community."
Dellea said the bequest would be used for future projects at the 25-bed Critical Access Hospital.
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