Bill and Joanne Patejdl

Bill and Joanne Patejdl

Bill and Joanne Patejdl Complete Mother’s Dream


When Joanne Patejdl, RN, attended the 1959 groundbreaking for what would become Advocate Christ Medical Center, she had no way of knowing that the hospital would have a major impact on her life—and that she would one day be able to return the favor.

“I was a nursing assistant at Christ when I was in nursing school, and the staff really took me under their wing and taught me things I never could have learned in a classroom,” says Joanne. “They gave me the opportunity to advance and to gain the experience and confidence that have served me so well throughout my professional life.”

Joanne subsequently became a nurse in the hospital’s orthopedics department, and it was there that she met her future husband, Bill, who was a patient. Bill’s father, William Patejdl, MD—at the time a general surgeon at the hospital—had commented about a “gorgeous redhead” nurse. The rest is history.

In 2010, after meeting with the gift planning team at Advocate Charitable Foundation, Joanne and Bill decided to donate their family’s six-unit apartment building in Oak Lawn to the medical center. Joanne’s mother, Ann Skerrett, built the apartment in 1966 as a way to support her family. She managed and maintained it until 2000, when Joanne and Bill became the building’s owners. As the couple began to plan for their retirement, however, they embraced the opportunity to cease being landlords and make a gift to the hospital in memory of Ann, who passed away in 2010.

Proceeds from the sale of the property funded a deferred charitable gift annuity that supports the nursing research and education fund—and provides additional annual income for the couple to live on in their retirement. “There are so many giving vehicles out there, and we wanted to find the one that made the most sense for our situation,” Bill says.

“My mother was the one who first encouraged me to be a nurse, and who supported me financially and emotionally while I earned my degree,” Joanne says. “Donating her building to benefit other nurses and give them opportunities to fulfill their aspirations completes the dream my mother started. This decision was a very fitting tribute to our families and the hospital.”

First published: Fall 2012