Mrs. Doris Nims Leaves Historic $1.9 Million Planned Gift to Wheeler

Aug 16, 2016


Mrs. Doris Nims, formerly of Cheshire, Connecticut, left a significant legacy gift of approximately $1.9 million to Wheeler to advance programs and services that support children and adolescents. 

Mrs. Nims, who passed away last year at the age of 89, was the daughter of Herman Papenfoth, one of Wheeler’s earliest trustees and a leader in the Plainville community. 

Mrs. Nims was a woman ahead of her time. She held a degree in preschool education and was an independent, intelligent woman with a good head for business. Her husband, Dr. Robert Nims, was a physician at the VA Medical Center in West Haven. 

As an early trustee, Mr. Papenfoth, or “Pap,” helped set Wheeler on a solid financial foundation with the strong business orientation he would pass on to his daughter Dorie. He also shared his commitment to Wheeler’s mission with her.

“It is an honor to steward Mrs. Nims’ legacy,” said Susan Walkama, LCSW, president and chief executive officer, Wheeler. “The gift is among the largest ever received by Wheeler and will be invested in our continuing transformation to a community health system.”

Wheeler traces its beginnings to a generous bequest in 1960 from prominent Plainville resident Bertha Wheeler. Mrs. Wheeler’s gift helped to establish the clinic in 1968 and led to the 1972 construction of the first facility at 91 Northwest Drive in Plainville. 

 “Planned contributions offer donors a unique opportunity to have a significant impact on the services we deliver and the lives we touch, and they are particularly meaningful when local families who were part of Wheeler’s five decades of service support us in this way,” added Walkama. “I believe they see the value and potential that Wheeler brings to the communities where we live and work.”

To learn more about planned giving that supports Wheeler’s services and those Wheeler serves, visit

Wheeler Clinic
Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages recovery, health and growth at all stages of life.  Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes and hopeful tomorrows for more than 30,000 individuals across Connecticut each year. Learn more: