B y Jaime Thomas
A handful of organizations throughout Granville recently received an unexpected donation.
The estate of Margaret McNelley, a former resident, was recently distributed with chunks of her inheritance going to six recipients. Among these was the Rotary Club, which received $5,351 dollars.
Dave O’Brien, president of the club, said members never expected the funds.
“It’s a pretty big donation for any club or organization. It’s certainly a substantial fund,” he said. “The most important thing is it goes into our scholarship fund, which is one we’ve been doing for years. It will lead to students who are worthy getting funds for college.”
McNelley was born in New Jersey but spent much of her life locally, according to her cousin, Roseanne Roberts.
“She was a teacher in Granville Elementary School for many, many years,” Roberts said. McNelley never married, and her frugal nature left her with enough money to donate.
“She had some favorite charities in town, and that was in her will,” Roberts said, adding that her cousin also took care of her own family members.
She was 95 when she died about 10 years ago, but legal processes prevented the money from being distributed until recently.
The Pember Library and Museum, where McNelley was a regular patron, also received a sizeable percentage of the estate.
Pember Director Pat Wesner said when she was still alive, McNelley had told staff she had thought of the library in her will.
“It’s important to say how dedicated she was to the community and the people around here. That’s why she left money to the library and museum, so we could continue services,” Wesner said. “She volunteered her all the time.”
Wesner said there were dozens of organizations and individuals who received percentages of the inheritance.
O’Brien said she was teaching in the school when he was there, but he wasn’t sure if he’d been in her class.
“I wish I remembered her more, but it’s been a long, long time since I met her,” he said.
In addition to the Rotary Club and the Pember, McNelley left donations to the Granville school system, the Granville Rescue Squad, Granville Hook and Ladder and Granville Engine and Hose.
“As you can see many people will benefit from her generous act,” O’Brien said.