Many people remember Troye A. Svendson as a vibrant, loving and charitable man. Mr. Svendson, who recently passed away at the age of 92, was an active community member and will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him. However, his legacy as an advocate for those touched by cancer will live on for generations.
A Legacy of Leadership
In the late 1960s, sixteen community leaders, headed by Dr. M.J. Rathbone, Jr. and Anna B. Lipsey, saw the need for a community owned, nonprofit radiation cancer facility in the Baton Rouge area. To raise the funds to build the Cancer Center, Dr. Rathbone invited his dear friend and fellow philanthropist, Troye Svendson, to serve as campaign chairman of the Fund Drive Committee, which he graciously accepted.
“Troye always had a compassionate heart and when Dr. Rathbone first shared his idea for the Cancer Center, he was thrilled to help in any way he could,” said Olga Svendson, Mr. Svendson’s wife.
“We’ve lived in Baton Rouge for over 50 years and have had family members who faced cancer. That’s why it was so important to us that the best cancer care be accessible to everyone in the community.”
Building the Future of Cancer Care
With Mr. Svendson’s leadership, the campaign was successful in raising nearly $500,000 to construct the facility located on the campus of the original Woman’s Hospital on Airline Highway. In 1971, Mary Bird Perkins Radiation Treatment Center opened its doors to the community. That same year, Mr. Svendson was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors. He served as a dedicated board member until 1991 when he was named Director Emeritus. Even after his board service ended, Mr. Svendson remained a loyal donor and contributed to various Cancer Center fundraisers over the years.
“In the past, many people had to travel out of state for cancer care, but because of visionary leaders like Mr. Svendson who saw the need for a community Cancer Center, we now have a facility that offers unparalleled cancer care right here at home,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer. “Mary Bird Perkins would not be where we are today without Mr. Svendson’s support and leadership. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Svendson and the entire family and hope they take comfort in knowing his legacy continues to touch those impacted by cancer.”