The Westminster Communities Foundation is honored to recognize longtime residents Myrna and Merle Allshouse for a generous $50,000 bequest to the Suncoast community’s Benevolent Assistance Program.
Myrna and Merle’s children, Kim and Scott, join us in celebrating this gift by sharing, “Our parents were deeply committed to the importance of community throughout their lives. It was that sense of community that brought them to Westminster. They were strong supporters of arts and education, values that were shared by many of their friends in the larger Westminster Suncoast community and particularly by those who were affiliated with the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC). Through their gift, they wanted to provide the opportunity for others to have the joy and comfort they found in living in the Westminster community.”
Merle was a lifelong scholar and educator retired from Eckerd College in 2002. Upon his retirement, he continued to learn through classes at the University of South Florida in geology, politics and Florida history. Known to his friends as a “gentlemen scholar” he was also an avid boater and amateur pilot. Merle passed in April 2016 while residing at Westminster Suncoast.
Myrna succeeded in two careers, first as a mother to two children and then in the insurance industry. In retirement she became a talented watercolor artist who often shared her passion by encouraging others to pick up a brush and paint alongside of her. In 2021, she moved to Montpelier, VT to be closer to her family, but she fondly remembered her time at Westminster Suncoast. Throughout their lives, Myrna and Merle most valued advocating for social justice, art and education, but their dedication to these values in retirement was truly inspiring. Myrna passed in September 2023.
The Westminster Communities Foundation received Myrna’s bequest in support of the Suncoast community. The Foundation provided $1.25 million last year in Benevolent Assistance for residents who have outlived their resources. Currently, more than fifty Westminster residents benefit from benevolent assistance support. Jeff Coates, Vice President of Philanthropy, said that “being able to help our neighbors and friends continue to live in their communities, regardless of their resources, would not be possible without the enduring support of caring, generous people like Myrna and Merle. We are eternally grateful for their support and the legacy they left at Westminster.”
To learn more about or donate to the Foundation contact: Tish Burke at (727) 867-1131
Since 1974, Benevolent Assistance at Westminster Communities of Florida has been 100% funded by donors to the Westminster Communities Foundation.