Serving the Hospital Foundation from the Beginning
For Bob Gangel, taking the long view has yielded great results in life. This holds true not only with his career and family, but also in his service to the community. As an emeriti member of the Foundation Board, Gangel’s involvement with Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) goes back more than 50 years.
Gangel served on the original Board of Directors that established CCH as a community-owned, nonprofit hospital. At the time, it replaced two existing hospitals in Columbus which were run by outside organizations. Gangel worked alongside leaders from both hospitals to build the framework for the success and growth of CCH.
A Community-Focused Couple
Gangel and his late wife, Marilyn, were married for 62 years before she passed away in 2018. Together, they served the community in countless ways over many decades. “Giving back to the community was important for both of us,” Gangel said. “Something that we shared in common was our sense of civic duty.”
Marilyn volunteered with the Hospital Auxiliary for about 20 years, where she was part of a group of women who supported the hospital through fundraising, running the gift shop and managing the front desk.
Gangel was instrumental in forming the Hospital Foundation. “The idea of creating a foundation for the hospital’s fundraising efforts came up and I was asked to serve on the board as treasurer,” Gangel said. “Our function was to raise money for the hospital and manage the investments of those funds.”
Support for a Worthy Cause
Gangel believes that devoting time, talent and resources into our local hospital is an investment that pays off in many ways. “The hospital is a major employer, providing good jobs and helping the local economy,” he said. “Having good medical care available attracts people to our community, and we all benefit by having medical technology and specialists available close to home.”
Gangel said he’s proud to have played a small part in getting the Foundation up and running, and he continues to be amazed by the accomplishments the Foundation has made over the years.
Growing Up in Nebraska
Gangel was born and raised in Nebraska City, and he and Marilyn both graduated from the University of Nebraska. “After serving two years in the Air Force during the Korean War, I took a position back home with Becton, Dickinson and Company, a global medical technology company,” Gangel said. Later in his career, Gangel worked for First National Bank and Nebraska Public Power District, where he served as vice president and interim president before retiring at age 65. Marilyn worked as a substitute teacher for more than 20 years in Columbus and the surrounding area.
“Marilyn and I enjoyed spending our winters in Arizona for a number of years after we retired,” Gangel said. As avid Husker fans, the couple also enjoyed attending football games for many years and cheering on their team. The Gangels have two daughters and three grandchildren, with family in Nebraska, Wyoming, North Carolina and New York.