HOISINGTON — A trust gift from Leona Berry, a longtime Hoisington resident and beloved school teacher, was left to Clara Barton Hospital Foundation of Hoisington. Leona passed away at the age of 94 on Nov. 22, 2010, at the Salina Regional Health Center.
The Foundation announced the generous contribution from Leona Berry’s trust during its annual meeting held this past Monday. Leona’s brother Emery Berry and his wife Carleen and their son Ken Berry along with Leona’s nephew Richard Berry and his wife Karla, were in attendance at the annual meeting to help celebrate the generosity Leona shared.
"The community of Hoisington lost a friend at Leona’s passing but in her passing she created the greatest gift one can share- a philanthropic legacy for quality health care in Hoisington. What Leona has done for Clara Barton is truly a timeless way to support and sustain a viable community asset. It is such an honor to be included in her life in this way. Receiving a thoughtful planned out gift as being named in one’s will or trust is the most extraordinary appreciation a Foundation and Hospital can receive from a resident and patient of our organization," said Michelle Moshier, Clara Barton Foundation’s executive director. "We had no knowledge of her thoughtful, foresighted action to strengthen the organization that provides quality healthcare for the community she loved until we received the phone call from her accountant.
"Leona lived in Hoisington for 15 years and being a resident of Hoisington, the hospital meant a lot to her," said Emery Berry, trustor. "The hospital was very important to my sister. This was her wish to support them."
Berry was born to William and Grace (Chenoweth) Berry on May 9, 1916 near Beaver. She graduated from Hoisington High School. Leona was a member of Hoisington United Methodist Church.
She began her teaching career at the age of 17 and went on to become a beloved educator. She taught county grade schools in Russell; grades 1st through 8th from 1934 through 1940. She also taught at Atwood High School for a year before teaching at Hoisington High School between 1944 through 1947. Leona obtained a master’s degree in English from Fort Hays State University. She also obtained a Library Science degree from Denver University in Denver and worked in many college libraries. Leona’s last position was as an archivist at Eastern Michigan University before she retired to Hoisington in 1982 to her parents’ home on West 7th in Hoisington. In 1999, she moved to Oak View Apartments in Minneapolis to be near her brother and his family.
"Giving a donation by will or trust may sound like a tedious task, but in reality it only takes a little language inclusion," said Moshier. Give Clara Barton Hospital Foundation a call at 620-653-5012 to learn more about how your life-celebrating generosity can support both your family and Clara Barton Hospital Foundation.