Towanda man leaves estate to charity
A Towanda man who died in November 2011 is leaving the majority of his approximately $2.6 million estate to local non-profit and charitable organizations. Harold Q. Sherman, who died at 90 last year, was known as a humble and smart man, according to lifelong friend Marge Williams.
"I couldn't say enough good things about him because he was such a fine individual," Williams said of Sherman.
Williams, who first met Sherman when she was in first grade, said he worked for her husband at one point as secretary of the local Agway. After working there, Sherman took a job at Sylvania and stayed with the company for about 40 years, Williams said.
Sherman, whose wife of over 50 years died two years prior to him and did not have any children, gave the vast majority of his remaining estate to area non-profit organizations when he died. Approximately $175,000 of the estate will be distributed among 12 named friends and family in the will.
The estimated $2.4 million remaining will be invested in a trust fund with Citizens & Northern Bank in Towanda and the net income of the fund will be distributed annually to named organizations.
While the amount of return from the trust fund will fluctuate and is unknown, the will outlines what percentage each organization will receive from the proceeds.
The organizations and percentage of net income being received are as follows: First United Methodist Church in Towanda (13 percent), First United Methodist Church in Standing Stone (13 percent), Towanda Public Library (13 percent), Bradford County Historical Society (10 percent), The Salvation Army in Sayre (11 percent), Spalding Memorial Library (13 percent), Sayre Public Library (13 percent), Standing Stone Methodist Church Cemetery Association (1 percent), and the Bradford Sullivan Chapter of the American Red Cross (13 percent).
According to Marshall Dawsey, president of the Towanda Public Library's board of trustees, the money being received will possibly allow the library to increase the hours that it is open each week.
Dawsey said he believes the money from the trust fund will begin to be received during the 2013 calender year.
The major beneficiary of the trust fund is the First United Methodist Church, which will receive 26 percent of fund revenue combined over two locations in Bradford County.
Pastor of the Towanda church, Jim Hollister, said the money received from the estate will be used in a way that would "honor the memory of Harold."
The pastor assured that the money will not be used such things as operating expenses, but instead will focus on projects of "capital nature." Hollister also made note of a possible upcoming renovation of the church sanctuary with the possibility that some of the money Sherman gifted would be used.
Hollister explained that the final decision of how money received each year will fall on the shoulders of the church's memorial gift committee and board of trustees.
Sherman was very active in the church community and served on several church committees over the course of his life, Hollister said. Pastor Hollister also noted,
"He was a long time member of the church and the gifts he made were a reflection of his faith."
Tim Zyla can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.