Carl Bennett, advocate and supporter of Greenwich Hospital and the community for decades, died peacefully in his home on December 23, 2021, at the age of 101. Born in the hospital’s Benedict Building, Mr. Bennett and his beloved late wife, Dorothy, created a lasting legacy at Greenwich Hospital that included the establishment of beautiful gardens and the bolstering of key clinical areas.
The couple met when Mr. Bennett returned home from serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. They married in 1951 and settled in Stamford, where he conceptualized Caldor, the discount department store that would later become a hugely successful chain in the Northeast. For many years, Mr. Bennett together with Dorothy were actively engaged with numerous organizations whose missions and purpose aligned beautifully with their vision for health care and education, among many other community programs. When the family moved to Mead Point in Greenwich in 1984, they began using Greenwich Hospital more frequently, and came to know the medical staff and leadership of the hospital.
The Bennetts provided a transformational gift to fund the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Community Garden at Greenwich Hospital. Completed in 2006, this serene oasis is situated on 2.5 manicured acres next to the hospital’s Watson Pavilion. At the time, Mr. Bennett said the gift was a tribute to Greenwich Hospital’s physicians, nurses, employees, and volunteers, and to the hospital’s belief that healing the soul is as important as healing the body.
From there, Mr. Bennett’s philanthropy centered on the Emergency Department (ED), first with a gift that made possible for a separate CT scanner and MRI machine to be installed within the ED itself. Later, he contributed another leadership gift to help realize the expansion and renovation of the ED. This multi-million dollar project was designed to deliver critical care more quickly and efficiently. His giving once again inspired others to join in this important campaign for the future of Greenwich Hospital.
Most recently, Mr. Bennett has helped grow the hospital’s palliative care program alongside his daughter, Robin Kanarek, who is a Greenwich Hospital trustee and deeply passionate about palliative care and quality of life for those suffering from serious illness. Together, they have furthered the work of a pioneering program called Circle of Hope, established to create new “frames” of emotional support for frontline healthcare workers in the wake of the pandemic. Their investment has lifted up the work, which is led by Rabbi M.J. Newman and others.
Robin and her brothers, Marc and Bruce, were all born at Greenwich Hospital.
At this time, Greenwich Hospital celebrates the profound impact Mr. Bennett made on his community, and most directly the forward trajectory of this hospital made possible by his steadfast friendship.