GOSHEN — A $400,000 gift was presented to IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care Wednesday.
The gift was awarded by the Goshen Hospital & Healthcare Foundation from the estate of a Middlebury couple, the late Jean and Norval D. Poyser.
A bequest of $391,000 was made by the couple to the foundation and the balance comes directly from funds given by community donors and set aside for cancer research at the Goshen Hospital & Healthcare Foundation.
“We are pleased as a foundation, to add to the original bequest by the Poyser family, so that we can make it an even $400,000,” said Foundation President Terry Hoogenboom.
The Poyser’s were lifelong residents of Middlebury and graduates of Middlebury High School. They were married for 56 years until Jean died from cancer in 2001.
The couple worked together on their farm and were well-known throughout the community as kind, quiet, hardworking and generous people, said Lynette Mischel, executive director of the Goshen Hospital & Healthcare Foundation.
“They were two beautiful lives who cared about this community,” Mischel said.
Norval was a leader in the community serving as an officer on numerous boards including First State Bank, the Middlebury Co-o Creamery and the Elkhart County Farm Bureau Co-op. He died in April 2011 at 92.
Their bequest was entrusted to the foundation until such a time when suitable arrangements for the gift could be given in the name of cancer research.
“This is the third largest gift in the history of the foundation totally for cancer research,” Mischel added.
Patty Yates, trust officer at First State Bank in Middlebury, spoke briefly about the couple.
“I was a young employee at the bank when I first met them. We became dear friends and Norval relied on me when Jean died,” Yates said, with tears in her eyes. “He became like a grandfather to me.”