Donor Stories | Donations | The Wesley Communities

Donor Stories

Gifts large and small play an important role in supporting our mission to be a welcoming community of kindness and grace where residents and staff thrive.

Celebrating a Legacy – Alyce Andrus, Wesley Glen Resident

Alyce and Paul Andrus met in a church choir in college. Music spoke to them; throughout marriage, they celebrated innovation and creativity. It’s no surprise that Alyce continues to honor their legacy through her philanthropic giving. Alyce made a gift to Wesley Glen to make possible a new audiovisual system in the Longsworth Auditorium.

Alyce said, “I find good things happening in the Auditorium at Wesley Glen. I was eager to find a way to help improve the sound and picture produced for our residents’ enjoyment.”

Alyce’s leadership has inspired Wesley Glen to renovate the Longsworth Auditorium in 2016.

Q: What inspires you to support Wesley Glen?

A: I am pleased Wesley Glen has been “home” now for over 6 years and I feel I share a responsibility to support it. I’ve “put my roots down” by planting some daffodils. A patio home was available at just the right time, and care was available when Paul’s strength failed him. It is wonderful to have a comfortable home with assistance available when we need it. I feel I need to participate in supporting the home I am proud to be a part of.

Q: Why did you make this gift for the Auditorium?

A: I have been a speaker presenting programs in quite a variety of settings. The audio-visual equipment available varied a lot. As I age, I realize hearing can be a problem for many of us. Good audio-visual equipment can make a wonderful difference. Vespers is such good programming, but not broadcasted well. It is so frustrating to miss it. I feel the good material is here for people to experience and enjoy. We can make it better and this is a project Paul would have endorsed.

Q: What do you love about living at Wesley Glen?

A: We were guided to Wesley Glen at just the right time when we needed a smaller, caring place to call home. I am grateful for the loving atmosphere. The Health Center and Assisted Living were safe, helpful places for Paul in his last months. There was support for me from our Hospice and friendly residents who understood what we were going through. I also enjoy my walk to dinner each night and appreciate the housekeeping help. There is a comment made often: “Someone else cooked the meal and then tidied up – no dishes!”

Q: What are your favorite things to do?

A: I love to sing! My choir friends are good at getting me to choir practice and church. No solos anymore! Age does things to a voice. The opportunity to improve what we have is now. Legacy Newsletter 5 Spring 2016 Besides music, I am also an artist and continue to create designs for the pulpit at King Avenue UMC based on that week’s scripture. I usually spend too much time with the Dispatch and I am fond of tending plants. I have limited my glass collection to small vases, pitchers,
and millefiori glass. Not to mention the cats and angels.

Q: Why do you encourage others to support Wesley Glen?

A: Wesley Glen is a good place for that next chapter in life, when the much loved home cannot meet your needs. Every good home needs support. When we come to Wesley Glen, it becomes our residence – a home to be proud of and grateful that it is available. We should support it for our own upkeep and certainly so it is here, available for others.

Q: Tell us about Paul.

A: Paul was an honor student from Cleveland, Ohio, member of the Naval Reserve, a chemist, a physicist, a researcher, an inventor at Battelle, a mentor, had a deep bass voice, and was a kind friend. He liked to solve problems and improve things. Paul earned 16 patents during the development of xerography and the Xerox copy machine. He also had 7 other patents including use of ink jets and a non-reflective surface for prints.

Q: What is your legacy?

A: Paul and I joined King Ave UMC in 1949 and were active volunteers and choir members. Now, some enjoy watching me sing – when I’m trying to express the meaning of the words, I guess my face shows it! I’m not aware of that. I’ve always been an encouraging voice for visuals. I embraced the idea of using visual designs in the church service, adding meaning to the theme of the day. Banners were first. Then, I started creating liturgical art for the pulpit. Alyce’s generous gift honors the legacy she and her late husband have created. We thank Alyce, and Paul, for helping us meet our goal to provide the best possible home for our residents. We could not do this without the loyal support and loving spirit of people like Alyce.

Evelyn R. Meyers – A Legacy of Service and Giving

A devoted educator and dedicated volunteer, Evelyn Meyers lived a long, fulfilling life. After she passed, Wesley Glen Retirement Community received her generous bequest for our Charitable Care Fund. Her gift will continue her legacy of helping others. We honor her and thank her for this gift.

Born January 21, 1920 in Center Township, Mercer County, Celina, Ohio, Evelyn graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and later earned her Master’s Degree.  She also did graduate work at several universities. For 24 years, Evelyn taught for Columbus City Schools; she retired in 1982.  She joined the Wesley Glen Community in 2006.

Evelyn’s hobbies included reading, sewing, and traveling. She enjoyed visiting places where she had never been before. Evelyn was known for her kindness and generosity and she took pride in supporting and developing her local community. She handmade gifts for patients of the James Cancer Hospital, the Columbus Cancer Clinic, and the cancer unit of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She also was a docent at the Orange Johnson House in Worthington and an usher at Mershon Auditorium.

Evelyn was a member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church of Celina, Ohio for more than 75 years. She also attended Maple Grove United Methodist Church in Columbus for over 45 years.

She was a member of the Clintonville Women’s Club, Ohio Historical Society, a past Matron of Worthington Chapter #287 Order of Eastern Star, served as President of the OES Hospice Circle, and was President of the District 17 OES Cancer project. She received the Grand Cross of Color from the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, which is the highest award given to a member or adult leader for outstanding service.

Evelyn always spoke highly of her family; her relatives are proud of her wonderful legacy. As she aged she was known to say that in her mind “she was maturing with creeping age, developing character lines, acquiring a senior citizen’s spread and was entitled to her senior moments.”

Evelyn’s life of service inspires all of us. Her thoughtful bequest to the Wesley Glen Charitable Care Fund will continue her legacy for years to come.

Meet Fran Weber

Inspiration can come from many places. For Fran Weber, Wesley Ridge resident, it stems from two things: her strong belief in staying active and her strong desire to help people. Fran knows the value of staying active. Though she has always walked for exercise, she added swimming as an activity 33 years ago because she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in the 1980s. Swimming helped her regain her strength. With her late husband Bob’s encouragement, she began walking daily again and has not looked back! Bob and Fran also enjoyed square dancing, snorkeling, diving, and traveling. Fran cherishes her memories of her husband and thanks God for the extra time they had together. In her heart, she knows exercise transformed their lives and she wants others to have that opportunity. It is no surprise that she has committed to supporting the Harcum Fitness & Aquatic Center with a $25,000 donation. Her gift secured the naming rights to the Center’s artwork. It is ideal when donors’ personal passions influence their charitable giving! Fran shared, “I don’t think I would still be here if I hadn’t been active. I found something I loved to do and kept on doing it.” She is excited to soon be able to swim and exercise right at home, at Wesley Ridge. Thank you, Fran, for being a mentor and an inspiration to us.

Their Legacy, Your Future

Jim and Carol Barbee came to Wesley Ridge because of the spectrum of seamless care it offers. They were among the first residents of the Ridge Homes, moving in July 2001. Of the many activities provided, Jim uses the fitness room regularly and Carol participates in the weekly knitting group. Both attend weekly Sunday-evening vespers and Bible study groups.
Jim worked as a structural engineer. He moved to Columbus from Norfolk, Virginia in 1955 to take a job with North American Aviation (later North American-Rockwell, then Rockwell International). He retired after 34 years with the company. Carol and he met the first Sunday Jim was in Columbus, at a swimming party sponsored by the Older Youth Fellowship at Broad Street UMC (BSUMC). For many years, he was a long-distance runner, including marathons. His hobbies include genealogy and church history. Jim chairs the Commission on Archives and History of the West Ohio Conference UMC. Jim is also currently BSUMC church historian and a member of the Church Council and the History and Records Committee.
Carol is from Granville, Ohio. She graduated from the Grant Hospital School of Nursing in 1954 and worked at the hospital as a scrub nurse before she and Jim were married. She also attended nearby BSUMC. After raising their children, Carol worked at Grant Hospital for several more years on the OB-GYN floor. Her hobbies include sewing, quilting and other crafts. She has received three blue ribbons for various craft projects since living at Wesley Ridge, and she still enjoys knitting and crocheting. At BSUMC, Carol is a member of the Shawl Ministry Group.
The Barbees are active members of Broad Street UMC (BSUMC) in downtown Columbus. They were married there on June 10, 1956. They have two daughters and two sons – they live in Wildwood, Florida; Elmhurst, Illinois; Kingwood, Texas; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – who were all baptized at BSUMC along with one grandson. They have two grandsons and four granddaughters.
Wesley Ridge has been Jim and Carol’s home for nearly 13 years. Because of what the Wesley Ridge community provides to them and many others, the Barbees have generously supported many areas of need here, beginning with the Life Center expansion; then, the Prayer and Meditation Room in the Kimes Chapel; and most recently, the Charitable Care Fund. Jim and Carol live their faith every day and with every donation.

Bettie Eastwood Leaves a Legacy at Wesley Glen

It was natural for Bettie to choose Wesley Glen as her home when deciding on a retirement community because the High Street corridor was her stomping ground for many years. She grew up on 12th Avenue, close to her father’s work at Ohio State’s School of Agriculture. Her mother was very involved in their church, Summit United Methodist. After attending North High, Bettie earned her degree in art education from Ohio State.

Bettie has woven her love of art throughout her life experiences. Soon after college she joined the Special Services of the Army and worked in Alaska. She was part of a team that provided entertainment and activities to the service personnel and their families who were stationed there during World War II. “I loved that experience and it is beautiful country,” she shared. After the war she taught art in several Ohio cities where she drew on the imaginations
ofthe children in her classrooms and developed their love of art. She enjoyed working with children and building on how they portrayed their views of the world through art. She still recalls a young girl in her class who was concerned about how she painted the horizon because she thought “the sky would crush the people on Earth.” Bettie tells the story with a smile as she remembers seeing the world through her student’s eyes. After she retired, Bettie served as a docent at the Columbus Museum of Art for over twenty years.

Bettie blessed her students for many years…and now she has chosen to bless her Wesley Glen neighbors by remembering the Charitable Care Fund in her estate plans. As she says, “The purpose of the fund is wonderful and I want to be a part of making it available for those who rely upon it. Typically people remember their family through their will…I am remembering Wesley Glen and all my friends who have become family to me.” She adds that by giving through her estate she is able to make a gift without impacting her current assets. She has peace of mind knowing her current needs will be met while still blessing others in the future.

“I have a good life,” says Bettie. “And at this point the song ‘Just as I am Lord’ sums it up…I am what I am and am blessed.”

David and June Harcum Story

Dave and June Harcum could not have foreseen the positive force The Wesley Communities would be in their lives, or that they would become such an integral part of the organization. The Harcums have contributed greatly to the stability and future growth of The Wesley Communities, and their generosity is woven into the very tapestry that makes the organization what it is today.

When Dave and June first began to consider downsizing, they were determined to find a community whose services could be customized to adapt to any changes in their future requirements. The Harcums found what they were looking for in Wesley Ridge, and chose to make it their home. They fell in love with the residents and staff, and quickly became cornerstones of the community.

Dave and June recognized that their positive experience had everything to do with the dedication of the staff, the well-maintained facilities and the multitude of resident services, activities and opportunities available. The Harcums continue to entrust The Wesley Communities with generous contributions. Every dollar goes toward ensuring that the premium services and care we have become known for continue to be furnished. Thanks to the financial commitments made by individuals and families like the Harcums, The Wesley Communities continues to be the gold standard; providing exactly the customizable, friendly, and state-of-the-art senior care that sets us apart from the rest.

Robert A. and Betty Barnes Story

When Robert A. Barnes took a position on the Board of Trustees of The Wesley Communities more than 14 years ago, retirement was among one of the last things on his mind. From the beginning, he believed in the company’s caring Christian mission and wished to facilitate the dignified care of those settled into retirement. Today, he lives at Wesley Ridge with his wife, Betty. The couple compared different retirement communities throughout the region for longer than a year before choosing their new home. Robert happily reports that the vision that he put his faith in more than a decade ago is delivered to each resident at Wesley Ridge: “I said to someone the other day that the services here are as good, if not better, than the best cruise line.”

Robert and Betty recently made a generous contribution that is helping to create a new skilled nursing facility adjacent to the retirement community. This donation, for those that know him, may not come as much of a surprise. He has made the most of his 85 years and created an early habit of using his talents and resources to aid others in the communities in which he lived. He honorably served his country in the Vietnam War. He imbued North Carolina and Ohio State students with profound knowledge as a music department chairman and as an administrator. Barnes also worked as the president and CEO of a trucking company.

The new building will bear his name. The Robert A. Barnes Center will house therapy, art and chapel services in addition to its skilled nursing care and will serve the entire far eastside of Columbus while simultaneously expanding the services offered by Wesley Ridge. Its mission will be to engage and inspire all who enter its doors. Robert and Betty report that their only hope with the generous gift is to contribute to the ongoing success of the retirement community, and they sincerely hope that his contributions improve the lives of others for years to come.