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Cabot woman leaves $1.7M estate to health, arts groups

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Ida Findley died in March 2012 and left her $1.7 million estate to benefit organizations she loved. Findley was named Butler Memorial Hospital's volunteer of the year in 2001.
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

There was never any doubt where Ida Findley's heart was.

The Cabot woman wore it on her sleeve as she volunteered for St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Cabot, the Butler County Memorial Hospital, the Butler County Symphony Orchestra and various other community health and arts groups until her death at 87 in March 2012.

Those groups now are benefiting from generous bequests from her estate.

Her executor, Butler lawyer James Taylor, said that Findley, a widow with no close relatives, was explicit that her $1.7 million estate help the causes she loved.

Taylor said Findley, who lived modestly, volunteered about 12 hours a day for various organizations.

Findley, who left the Butler County Symphony $240,000, was a valued member of the organization. She spent at least 45 years volunteering for the symphony and occasionally underwrote concerts, according to Ed Wadding, president of the symphony board.

Butler Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Connie Downs said Findley, who left the hospital $360,000, volunteered in her office for more than a decade, assisting with various outreach and public relations efforts.

“She would do just anything you asked her to do,” Downs said, adding that Findley helped underwrite the cost of an education center in the hospital's new patient tower.

“Her late husband was a teacher, and education was something she was very passionate about,” Downs said.

Findley served as a hospital board member and a member of the hospital auxiliary.

“Ida Findley was a vibrant and beloved member of the Butler Health System Family,” Kevin Stansbury, the hospital's vice president for business development and philanthropy, said in a statement.

Findley left $80,000 to Carnegie Mellon University, where her husband, Robert, taught engineering and physics.

St. Joseph's in Cabot, where Findley was a member and worked on the church finance council, received $180,000 from her estate. Church business manager Karyn Roenigk said the gift was a pleasant surprise.

“She was a very dear lady,” Roenigk said.

Other groups that received $80,000 each include: Middlesex Presbyterian Church; the Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Department; the Ben Avon Volunteer Fire Department; the Maridon Museum in Butler; and The Community Health Care Clinic of Butler.

Taylor said the bulk of Findley's estate was distributed during the past year.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or

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