NORTHAMPTON — In life, they exemplified the importance of supporting —through both time and treasure — organizations that help make Northampton the community it is. In death, they ensured that three of the causes they believed in would have resources to continue to deliver on their missions.
Through a bequest, Richard S. and Isabel Holden donated a total of more than $1.4 million to three organizations in which they were involved. The beneficiaries of the Holdens’ generosity — Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and Edwards Church — announced the gift recently.
The Holdens moved in 1948 to Northampton, a place they called “the end of the rainbow” for their family. Richard Holden was the long-time president of the former Northampton National Bank, from which he retired in 1972. His community service included terms on the boards of directors of the Clarke School, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and Edwards Church. He was also a member of the Northampton Rotary Club.
Isabel Holden, known to her friends as Matthew, served as an officer of the Northampton Historical Society, was a member of the CDH Auxiliary, volunteered at the Veterans Administration and Hospice, and taught music for several years at the Smith College campus school. In her later years, she moderated seminars for Learning in Retirement on pastoral poetry, Scotland, and Shakespeare.
Craig Melin, CEO of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, said, “Richard and Matthew Holden’s contributions to the community and Cooley Dickinson in particular were notable. During their lives, they enriched all who knew them — with their infectious involvement in various interests and their caring for the needs of others. We are grateful for the generosity of this bequest and honored to be cared for yet again by two unforgettable friends.”
Melin added that the hospital will consult Holden family members to discuss how to use the gift in a way that provides the most fitting tribute to the Holdens.