Bellevue couple's estate gifts $10M to Swedish

Robert and Jean Reid, former Bellevue business leaders and philanthropists, have donated $10.1 million to the Swedish Medical Center through their estate. - Courtesy Photo
Robert and Jean Reid, former Bellevue business leaders and philanthropists, have donated $10.1 million to the Swedish Medical Center through their estate.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The Swedish Medical Center Foundation knew Robert and Jean Reid to be great philanthropists here in the Puget Sound area, but were surprised to find they'd been gifted $10.1 million from the Bellevue couple's estate following their deaths.

Robert Reid started Reid Sand and Gravel in 1958 with his wife helping to run the Bellevue business for nearly 30 years. They were well known for their philanthropy, establishing an endowment fund for the UW School of Nursing and supporting community causes. Another posthumous gift by the Reids was to the Seattle Children's Hospital Bellevue Clinic.

"The Reids had been one of the most philanthropic couples in all of the Puget Sound area," said Randy Mann, vice president of campaigns for the Swedish foundation. "Their real increase in giving and supporting Swedish did occur later in life when they became aware of their own health issues."

Before making their $10.1 million estate gift to Swedish, the Reids had already donated $500,000 to the foundation. The millions they're donating through the Robert and Jean Reid Family Foundation will be received in portions over a number of years and support the medical center's heart and vascular institute and cancer institute.

Robert Reid died in 2011 from congestive heart failure and Jean Reid died in 2012 from cancer.

"We actually did not know that we were such a large recipient in their estate plans, and it was quite a surprise," said Mann. "… We were very surprised to find out we ranked so high in their philanthropic priorities."

The Campaign for Swedish has been ongoing since 2007 and ends Dec. 31. The Reids' contribution is the largest received in that time and adds to a total collection of $128.5 million for initiatives and programs.

“My dad was truly a leader in the greater Eastside community, starting in the 1950s,” said James R. Reid in a statement. “He dedicated his life to his community and to the success of our neighborhood. He’s still known as one of the key players in the development boom which led to the Eastside we see today. Nothing made him happier than knowing that he could make a difference in the lives of those around him, and advancing medicine was a cause truly close to his heart.”

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