Growing up in the 1920s in a log cabin with 12 brothers and sisters makes it understandable that the late Gladys Simpson wished to make a difference in the lives of future generations of children. Simpson, who passed in 2004, left what was, at the time, the largest gift to date at Marion Community Foundation for the creation of a designated fund benefiting the Center Street Community Health Center.
Simpson was a surgical nurse at Marion General Hospital for 20 years; she retired in 1984. Although she emarked on her nursing career late in life–entering nursing school at age 39, following the death of her husband–it was this career interest which motivated her to bequeath $350,000 to support health care access for medically underserved children and their families.
Simpson’s family was unaware of her wealth until after her passing and remembered her as a very frugal person.
“When you’ve lived through the Depression, you have a different perspective on how to handle money,” said her sister Mary Ann Baker.
Aside from her nursing career, Simpson was an avid gardener and genealogist. She left her research papers to the Marion County Historical Society, tracing her family back to the founding of Ohio as a state. She and her siblings grew up on a farm on Caledonia-Northern Road.
Melvin Ulery was a close friend of Gladys’, according to her family.