A longtime Hillsboro resident, who died in October at the age of 101, bequeathed nearly $300,000 to a number of local churches, civic organizations and educational institutions, according to her will.
Dorothy Shanks, who died Oct. 27 at Heartland of Hillsboro, left her largest gift, $100,000, to the Leesburg Friends Church. The second largest amount, $50,000, was bequeathed to the Highland County Senior Citizens Center.
In addition to her gifts to numerous community interests, her will bequeathed money and property to several relatives and friends.
Other community beneficiaries include:
• Leesburg Methodist Church, $25,000.
• Samantha Friends Church, $25,000.
• Highland District Hospital, $25,000.
• Southern State Community College, $15,000 for a scholarship fund to be known as the “Clarence and Faye Rhoades/Robert B. and Dorothy R. Shanks Scholarship Fund.” Clarence and Faye Rhoades were Dorothy Shanks’ parents, and Robert was her husband.
• Wilmington College, $15,000 for a “Robert B. and Dorothy R. Shanks Scholarship Fund.”
• Hillsboro Rotary Club, $10,000.
• Leesburg Friends Church Scholarship Fund, $10,000.
• Falls Creek Friends Church, $5,000.
• Leesburg Masonic Lodge, $5,000.
• Highland County unit of the American Cancer Society, $5,000.
• Highland County unit of the American Heart Association, $5,000.
The will, prepared in 1995, also notes that Dorothy Shanks was “in the midst of establishing” a fund in honor of her late husband, who died in 1991, to be known as the “Bob Shanks Outstanding Youth Scholarship Fund,” which has been in existence now for several years.
Dorothy Shanks was a member of the Leesburg Friends Church, where she played the organ. She worked at 1st Security Bank for many years before her retirement.
Mechell Frost, director of the senior citizens center, said Tuesday she was “completely blown away” when she learned of the $50,000 bequeathed to the center.
“Obviously, she thought of us fondly,” said Frost. “It was incredibly generous.”
Kevin Boys, the president of SSCC, said such gifts “often come out of the blue.” He said the scholarship fund for students in Highland County is “a great way to leave a legacy,” and will benefit young students and even older adults who pursue higher education goals.
Lee Koogler, the statutory agent for Hillsboro Rotary who announced the $10,000 bequeathed to the club at the weekly Tuesday meeting at Ponderosa, said later it was “an incredibly generous act.” He said the club would use it as directed, for the betterment of the club, Highland County and its citizens.
Rotarian Rocky Coss, the county common pleas judge, recalled Dorothy Shanks’ husband as a longtime Rotarian and active community leader. Coss said Bob Shanks was affiliated with Farm Bureau and was already a Rotarian when Coss joined the club in 1977.
“He was very community-minded, quiet but dedicated to the community,” said Coss. He likened Bob Shanks to contemporaries such as Darrell Hottle and Bob McMullen, both former common pleas judges and Rotarians who have passed away but who hearken to a generation of devoted movers and shakers in the community who are in shorter supply today.
Coss said that in the days before women were allowed in the Rotary Club, the organization would hold meetings where the widows of deceased Rotarians were invited, and Dorothy Shanks often attended those get-togethers.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.