Real-Life Stories: An Irish Blessing for our Patients

Tobin Family imageThis spring, we celebrate a love story and a gift that originated in Ireland. Tom Finbar Tobin, born in Tipperary, didn’t meet the love of his life in his native country; he had to travel the world to meet a Dublin lass named Mary Conlon in Chicago. They fell in love and married in 1965, moving to Milwaukee 11 years later with their four children;  Brian, Deirdre, Brenda and Sheila.

Their life in Thiensville revolved around family, church, and community. Throughout the years, they saw their family grow to include spouses for their children and then five grandchildren. When health problems arose, they chose Froedtert Hospital, knowing they would receive the latest and best treatments by a caring and compassionate staff. They also included Froedtert in their personal philanthropy with small gifts over many years. 

Throughout their lives, they cared about the community and they always valued Froedtert. We were pleased to see the gift happen.”
- Brenda, daughter of Tom and Mary Tobin

The Best Care Possible

In 2012, both Tom and Mary had calamitous health issues. Tom had a brain stem stroke, resulting in Locked-in syndrome. Mary was diagnosed with lymphoma and treatment was not successful. In late August, both Tom and Mary were patients at Froedtert Hospital - Tom on the sixth floor and Mary on the fourth floor. Their nurses knew they needed to be with one another, so every day Tom would be brought to her. On September 4th, their 47th wedding anniversary, they were together in Mary’s room. Their daughter, Brenda, says it was one of their best days during a very difficult time.

Mary died a few days later and Tom followed 11 days after that in a hospice. Their funeral in October had many Froedtert staff attending. The Tobin children knew that their parents had included charities in their estate plans. They were pleased to see that Tom and Mary included the heart and vascular program at Froedtert Hospital for a gift. Brenda says, “Throughout their lives, they cared about the community and they always valued Froedtert. We were pleased to see the gift happen.”

This summer, Tom and Mary’s family will join other families in celebration of the impact of planned giving for Froedtert Hospital and its patients at the annual Signature Society lunch.

For more information on how you can be a “blessing” to others, call Froedtert Hospital Foundation at 414-805-2699.


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