Area couple leaves up to $4 million for charities

A Webster County woman’s estate will provide bequests totaling $3 million to $4 million for the benefit of hospitals in Red Cloud and Hastings, the Auld Public Library and First United Methodist Church in Red Cloud, and Children’s Hospital in Omaha, the estate’s attorney said Wednesday.

The estate of Emma R. “Reese” Gates, who died in November 2013, will be leaving 25 percent of its available funds to the Webster County Community Hospital Foundation, 25 percent to the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation, 25 percent to benefit Children’s Hospital in Omaha, and 12.5 percent each for the Red Cloud library and the church, said David Garwood, attorney for the estate.

On Tuesday, the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation announced it received a gift of more than $500,000 from the Gates estate.

“We are truly grateful to Claud and Reese Gates for their generous charitable gift,” said Mary Plock, the foundation’s lead development officer. “The Gates’ gift will be added to the endowment fund, helping us continue the Lannings’ vision, offering hope and healing for generations to come.”

Known to her friends as Reese, Emma was born Jan. 6, 1920, south of Red Cloud. She was a lifelong resident of Webster County, graduating from Red Cloud High School with the class of 1938.

Reese was elected clerk of Webster County District Court from 1946-50, and she served as executive secretary for the Selective Service Board. She was office clerk for Gene Theobald with the Farmers Home Administration, clerk for Webster County Clerk’s Office and later was secretary for the Webster County Attorney’s Office.

Reese was a member of First United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Pleasant Prairie Extension Club and a R.S.V.P. volunteer. She was a pink lady volunteer at Webster County Community Hospital.

Garwood and his wife, Marietta, helped Reese after her husband died. In the Mary Lanning news release, they remembered Reese as “a sweet and kind woman who loved her community and preferred a quiet and private life.”

Reese married James Claud Gates on Dec. 29, 1957. They farmed west of Inavale. Claud preceded her in death, March 14, 1997. Reese died Nov. 5, 2013.

To read more, see Wednesday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>

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