Skip to main content
Text Resize

A Century of Commitment: Retired Local Physician Supports Hospital Through Charitable Gift Annuity

A Century of Commitment: Retired Local Physician Supports Hospital Through Charitable Gift Annuity

Few individuals reach 100 years of age. Fewer still are those who get there with an indomitable zest for life, untiring determination and a profound spirit of giving.

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Henry Wolfe attended Boston Latin School (the oldest public school in America) and received a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts. From there, he attended Boston University for his medical degree.

Dr. Wolfe spent 27 years in private practice, including 24 years of faculty service at Georgetown University School of Medicine. One of his most memorable achievements was participating in a major initiative in 1964 that resulted in administering over two million oral polio vaccinations.

Prior to retirement in 1994, Dr. Wolfe thoroughly researched where he would spend his remaining "snow-free" years. There were many choices in California, but this sage physician insisted on a sparsely populated community that offered exceptional healthcare. He opted for Mission Viejo in large part because "the staff at Mission is not just good; they're excellent."

Philanthropically, Henry continued to support his alma maters, but soon added Mission Hospital. In 2004, at age 84, he donated to Mission's charitable gift annuity "income for life" program. In addition to receiving a generous income tax deduction, the annuity provided Henry with guaranteed lifetime income of 7.4% - of which 65% was tax free for 17 years. Like Swiss clockwork, those quarterly distributions continued until his passing on July 14, 2020 - 49 days past the century mark.

A philanthropic footnote: In 2017, Henry moved to North Hollywood to be closer to family. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, his family couldn't celebrate this milestone. However, that didn't stop Henry from one final expression of giving. To benefit our sister hospital, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Henry committed to walking 100 laps around his apartment complex by his 100th birthday on May 26 to support the "Heroes-at-Saint-Joe's" program. By celebrating his birthday to benefit others, Henry raised $25,000!

While Henry was blessed with charitable gift annuity income that he could never outlive, Mission was also blessed to have Dr. Henry Wolfe as a dear friend.