The philanthropic arm of St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula has announced it received a $1.2 million gift from the estate of Wallace L. “Wally” Armstrong and Gloria Howell Armstrong.
“This generous gift is a wonderful expression of gratitude," said Fran Albrecht, executive director of Providence Montana Health Foundation. "It serves as an endearing example of how grateful patients seek to ‘give back’ in recognition of the compassionate care they received."
The foundation provides philanthropic support for both St. Pat’s and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson.
Wally Armstrong was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his father was stationed in the U.S. Army. After graduating from high school, Wally served for 21 years in the Air Force, achieving the rank of master sergeant and serving in both Korea and Vietnam. A lifelong Roman Catholic, Wally and his first wife Louise lived in Great Falls and Florida and were married for 59 years. Louise passed away in 2009, but she received care at St. Patrick Hospital.
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Wally married Gloria Howell after reconnecting in Georgia. Wally Armstrong passed away in 2017 at the age of 86 and is buried in Great Falls. Gloria Howell Armstrong passed away in March 2018.
According to the trustee of the estate, Wally came from humble means, worked hard, saved money, and took care of those he cared about, Albrecht said.
“This gift is truly an affirmation of the work our caregivers provide to patients every day,” said Joyce Dombrouski, chief executive of Providence Health and Services Montana. “Louise and Wally recognized something special at St. Pat’s and so thoughtfully chose to leave a gift that would have a major impact on the care we provide and inspire others to support the wonderful work we do to bring hope and healing to those we serve.”
Providence St. Patrick Hospital is a 224-bed nonprofit hospital on West Broadway in Missoula.