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The Groggs never forgot the compassionate care they received at NCH.

Make a Difference in Your Community

If you would like to remember NCH in your estate plans, please contact Foundation Development Director Kathi Grummel at 847.618.4272 or All inquiries are confidential and without obligation. If you're looking for other ways to contribute, consider supporting the Foundation's upcoming events. Friends of NCH Foundation are hosting several events in the coming weeks, from fantastic golfing at Inverness Country Club to support disabled children during treatment at NCH; to running or walking a 5k for our very own cancer patient assistance fund; or enjoying Oktoberfest at a local restaurant to help NCH's community outreach programs. Click here to learn more.

Leaving a Legacy

The Groggs provide generous bequest to NCH

In the late 1970s, Karen Schneckenberger was an accountant working at Gould Inc. in Rolling Meadows where she met Vera Grogg, a longtime employee of the Treasury Department—and a force to be reckoned with. A very responsible and detail-oriented administrator, Vera had no qualms about correcting the Harvard-educated men around her—and advising Karen on how to dress properly. But Vera was also a gracious hostess and soon brought her new friend Karen home to meet her husband, Ben Grogg, a research chemist at Quaker Oats and an equally fascinating character.

Childless and in their late 50s, the Groggs "adopted" Karen as a surrogate daughter and they ultimately named her executor of their estate. Ben died in 1993 and Vera passed away in March 2013, leaving a generous bequest to Northwest Community Healthcare.

High school sweethearts from St. Joseph, Mo., the Groggs moved to Arlington Heights in the early 1950s, soon after Ben was transferred to the new Quaker Oats research laboratory in Barrington. Both Vera and Ben built their careers and remained quite active throughout their lives. Not only did Vera work at Gould, she also produced beautiful needlework and became an excellent cook. Ben specialized in maintaining quality control at the lab and had a strong role in developing the process for making Cap'n Crunch cereal. He cared deeply about ensuring that the grains and additives used to make cereals were not only tasty, but also pure and nutritious.

Ben and Vera always saw NCH physicians and had many procedures at the hospital. Their family internist was first Felix Krock, MD, and then his son, Andrew Krock, MD. Vera had two hip replacements with Phillip Ludkowski, MD, and Ben entrusted his heart to the care of cardiologist Gilbert Sita, MD. "Ben and Vera had a lot of health problems as they aged," Karen says. "And they relied on the clinical expertise and compassionate care available at NCH. I think that explains their choice to leave a legacy gift to their local hospital."

Though they were hard workers with high standards, Ben and Vera also enjoyed an active social life. They were regulars at Le Titi de Paris, the once-famed French restaurant in Arlington Heights. Ben enjoyed swimming—and he was so fond of golf that his buddies sneaked into his favorite golf course in the middle of the night to bury his ashes at the 18th hole. Karen says the Groggs were simply very special people to a host of devoted friends. "We all miss them very much," she says.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009