GROVE, Okla. — The recent discovery of a Grove homemaker’s modest life savings that laid dormant for almost 30 years yielded a charitable gift of a half-million dollars which was donated to the Grove Ministerial Alliance.

Edna Myher died on Oct. 7, 1994, leaving no children or survivors but requested her life savings be put in a charitable trust for elderly Ottawa and Delaware County residents who have a financial need.

“Myher was a financially modest woman who knew the importance of leaving a legacy, not just an inheritance.”

Rev. Robert Carter, Grove Ministerial Alliance treasurer

The stipulations of the $1,000 yearly grant are the recipient be from Delaware or Ottawa County, be age 65 or older and show a financial need, Carter said.  

The first grant is expected to be funded by the end of the year, Carter said.  

“I am constantly humbled when we see God’s fingerprints on what we think are regrettable circumstances,” Carter said referring to the almost 30-year delay in funding the charity.

Referring to scripture in the book of Esther “… for such a time as this” Carter said the timing of Myher’s charity is on time and it’s not 30 years too late. 

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“There are many needs of the elderly living in Ottawa and Delaware Counties at this time,” Carter said.  

Carter said there will be a strong vetting process for the grants and the funds will be paid directly to the utility company or a similar vendor and not the person.

Clara Mills was appointed by Associate Judge David Crutchfield as personal representative of Myher’s estate and made the presentation Sunday night before a crowd of about 200 at the community’s annual Thanksgiving service.

“We know very little about Ms. Myher,” Mills said

For an unknown reason, the charitable trust was never established, and the life savings stayed in the bank drawing interest growing to over $600,000.

Pouring over old newspaper archives and death records, Mills discovered Myher worked as a waitress during her lifetime and for many years lived in Ponca City with her husband Leland.

“We know she was an advocate for the low-income elderly,” Mills said.

Leland retired from City Services Refinery in 1965 and the couple moved to Grove the same year where they lived in the Woodard Hollow area, she said.

Leland died Dec 1982 after a long illness. 

Hopefully, the charity will last for several years, she said.