Wadena graduate Betty Stark establishes endowment for WDC scholarship
Wadena graduate Betty Stark is leaving a lasting legacy for students at Wadena-Deer Creek High School.
Betty (Wheeler) Stark, who passed away on Jan. 6, 2013 at the age of 84, set up an endowment that establishes a scholarship for approximately $2,000 to a deserving graduate, according to her personal representative, Sam Phillips.
The scholarship would be for any graduating WDC student with a B average who plans to attend college. The student eligible for the scholarship should be active in athletics and other school activities as well as be involved in both their church and community, reads the criteria from Stark’s will.
WDC will receive an interest check every year in March from the Minnesota Community Foundation for the $2,000 scholarship for “perpetuity,” meaning for an indefinite period. The scholarship will be available to students starting with the 2014-15 school year.
In addition to WDC Schools receiving 20 percent of the estate’s permanent endowment fund, the other two organizations benefiting from the remaining 40 percent of the endowment are the city of Wadena for the maintenance of Sunnybrook Park (20 percent) and Friends of the Wadena City Library (20 percent).
The First Congregational United Church of Christ of Wadena, the new Wellness Center and the Wadena County Historical Society each received gifts from the Betty Stark Estate totaling 10 percent each. The fourth organization, Courage Center in Golden Valley, is also a 10-percent recipient.
Phillips distributed checks on April 9 to representatives of each organization. After the group photo, several looked up toward the sky and said, “Thank you, Betty!”
“I think Betty would have been pleased to see how her money benefitted so many in a big way. She would have been delighted,” Phillips said, who worked with Stark at Krause Drug Store.
According to her obituary, Betty Gene Wheeler was an only child and a 1946 graduate of Wadena High School. She married Richard “Bumps” Stark in 1972, and they lived in Betty’s childhood home. They loved to travel into Canada where they spent many days on the fishing boat. They also went deer hunting together. Betty enjoyed nature, feeding birds, walking and spending time at their lake place on Ottertail River. Richard passed away in 1983. Betty worked nearly 48 years at Krause Drug in Wadena where she was a bookkeeper, worked on the sales floor and became a self-taught pharmacy technician.
“She was a Wadena person, heart and soul,” Phillips said.