Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018
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Philanthropist's final gift will build dialysis center

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WAUSEON - Dorothy Biddle, who was well-known both for her longevity and philanthropy, has made her last gifts, one of which will help build a kidney dialysis center in Wauseon.

The final paperwork settling the estate of Mrs. Biddle, who died almost two years ago at age 106, was filed in Fulton County Probate Court this week, revealing a gift of more than $444,000 to the Fulton County Health Center.

That's not the largest of the gifts she left to charity in her will. Her estate, which was worth more than $2.4 million, provided $500,000 for Sara's Garden, an alternative medical center in Wauseon that treats patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The amount of Mrs. Biddle's bequest to the Fulton County Health Center, however, was one of the last unknowns in her estate.

Her will left dozens of gifts of specific dollar amounts to local schools, camps, and health, service, and religious organizations. After those were made, the hospital was to get half of everything that remained.

Christ United Methodist Church in Wauseon got 30 percent of the remainder, which amounted to almost $267,000, for its endowment fund.

And the Fulton County Fair Board and Wide Water Camp of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church each received 10 percent of the remainder, which came to almost $89,000 for each.

The last disbursements to those four organizations were made in October.

Mrs. Biddle called for the hospital's gift to be used to offer services to Fulton County residents and put that money in a trust to be overseen by Rebecca Thatcher and Vernon Oyer.

The hospital is using the money for a kidney dialysis center, which is to accommodate 12 patients at a time, said Dean Beck, administrator of the health center.

Fulton County residents on dialysis now drive at least 30 minutes and some drive more than an hour to Toledo, Defiance, or Bryan, he said.

And they typically do so three times a week, spending four to six hours at a dialysis center each time.

Construction on the center started this week, north of Fulton Manor Nursing Home & Suites on the hospital campus. The center is expected to be opened in late summer. The cost is estimated at more than $500,000.

The center will not be operated by the hospital, but by another organization, which Mr. Beck declined to name yesterday, although he said the hospital signed a lease with the organization in October.

The dialysis center is a separate project from the hospital's $18 million addition and renovation project, focusing on the emergency room and other areas, that is to be completed this spring.

The fair board is mulling using its gift from Mrs. Biddle for a new junior fair office on the fairgrounds.

And the more than $2.4 million estate that Mrs. Biddle left was in addition to the $1.7 million in Exxon Mobil stock she gave to the Wauseon Rotary Club before she died. The club is using the money to build a park bearing her name.

Contact Jane Schmucker at:

jschmucker@theblade.com

or 419-337-7780.

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