The Pikes Peak Hospice Foundation recently received a generous, and unexpected, bequest in the amount of $600,000 from Eugene Griepentrog.

Griepentrog was a decorated World War II veteran who passed in October of 2021.  He retired as a chief master sergeant after 30 years in the Air Force and was a generous man with few outlets for his generosity. Widowed and childless, with no immediate family in the Colorado Springs area, he often shopped for items and gave them away to neighbors and friends.

“I was truly blown away,” said Andy Petersen, executive director of the Pikes Peak Hospice Foundation. “I don’t think he had any connection to us, other than the fact that he lived near our offices.”

Griepentrog, who died two months shy of his 100th birthday, lived frugally, pinching pennies when he didn’t need to — a habit that may have been a holdover from his Depression-era upbringing.

The Pikes Peak Hospice Foundation, El Paso County’s only not-for-profit hospice and palliative care provider, receives the majority if its funding from Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. But the nonprofit often helps people without access to those resources, Petersen said.

“We have cared for people who were homeless, and other folks who couldn’t afford to pay for our services,” he said. “It is through gifts like his that we are able to continue our mission to help patients experiencing chronic and terminal illnesses find comfort, dignity and peace at one of the most important times of life.”

The Pikes Peak Hospice Foundation plans to honor Griepentrog and his gift with a special etching on its “Town Hall” wall. “We would have loved to have met Mr. Griepentrog in person,” Petersen said. “But through his generous gift, we feel he will always remain a part of the PPHPC family.

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