Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio (MHCO), St. John Mennonite Church and The Swiss Community Historical Society (SCHS) have received a bequest from the estate of Arthur E. Gratz of Pandora. Mr. Gratz, 84, died on October 22, 2018 at Hilty Memorial Home. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Kline Gratz.
A lifelong Pandora resident, Arthur graduated from Pandora-Gilboa High School in 1952 and was a member of St. John Mennonite Church. He worked as a truck driver for North American Van Lines and enjoyed sharing stories of his travels throughout the United States.
The total amount of the bequest was more than $192,000. SCHS received $20,000 and remainder has been split between MHCO and the St. John Mennonite Church.
Representatives from the three organizations shared their gratitude for the generosity and desire of Mr. Gratz, “to take a personal interest in the work and mission of our organizations.”
Laura Voth, CEO of Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio, commented that her organization will honor Mr. Gratz’s wish by having his estate gift support care for elders in the area communities. Typically, estate contributions are designated to support the MHCO Endowment Fund which supports elders who have outlived their resources. In 2018, MHCO provided more than $1.2M in uncompensated care to its residents.
Pastor Paul Perkins, lead pastor of St. John Mennonite Church, is prayerfully considering where the money can best be used, in our endowment fund or a capital improvement project.
Judith Kingsley, president of the Swiss Community Historical Society, shared that the $20,000 gift will be used to support the creation of the new Heritage Center which will be constructed on the property of the 1840s Schumacher Homestead. The Heritage Center will house local antiques, artifacts and archives of the Society and will have rooms for meetings and a children’s education area.
We are encouraged by the generosity of Mr. Gratz and others who take initiative in supporting the mission of our organizations. Please consult your financial advisor, lawyer or tax advisor and preferred charity with questions on how to make a bequest or planned gift.