Philanthropy is a way of life for this family

November 16, 2016

Since 1959, the year they graduated from Mansfield Senior High School, Richard (Dick) and Sally (Heckert) Uhde have felt a connection to and an appreciation of the Richland County Foundation.

  • Sally received $450 per year from the S.N. and Ada Ford Trust Scholarship for her junior and senior years at Marietta College (Sept. 1961 through June 1963) where she graduated with a degree in mathematics. The scholarship paid half of her annual tuition.
  • Dick received $500 per year from the Olson Scholarship of the Richland County Foundation that helped him graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University.

 Soon after Sally and Dick were married in 1964, Dick realized that he had become a member of a family where philanthropy and volunteerism were a way of life. 

Sally’s parents, Katherine and Bill McCarrick, both came from very humble beginnings but somehow they both felt very drawn to doing all they could to make Mansfield a better place to live and raise a family.  Initially, they could not afford to give large amounts of money to causes they felt passionate about but they could volunteer their time, talents and expertise to those causes.  

They were a dedicated team and were visionaries of what could be if one was willing to work hard.  Both held full-time blue collar jobs but that didn’t stop either of them from working tirelessly as volunteers at Kingwood Center, Oak Hill Cottage, and Ohio State Reformatory and on projects for the Richland County Historical Society.  When work needed to be done, they were the first to roll up their sleeves and dig in. 

Eventually, Bill also served on the Board of Directors for Kingwood Center, Richland County Foundation, Preservation of the Ohio Reformatory, and Airport and Aviation Commission.  He spent numerous hours in the summers digging in the dirt to beautify many places around the city with flowers.  In addition, he served a combined 19 years on Mansfield City Council as 3rd Ward Councilman and later as President of Council. 

Katherine and Bill spearheaded the restoration of Oak Hill cottage doing much of the initial work themselves.  When Katherine wasn’t working on projects with Bill, she was a 25+ year volunteer with the Mansfield Girl Scout Council where among other things she served as a leader and outdoor trainer, was a 45-year volunteer at Kingwood Center where one of her many duties was to create new, live flower arrangements for the Big House each and every Tuesday, and she served as president of Richland County Historical Society for over 20 years.  While Bill was on the Board of Directors of the Richland County Foundation, Bill and Katherine decided to set up a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), for the benefit of Kingwood Center, which Dick and Sally still support.

Using Bill and Katherine’s example, Dick and Sally also began volunteering early in their marriage in their small community of Johnstown, Ohio, where they have worked as a team to give countless hours of their time to the Johnstown Library building project, the one-room historical school house, to the scouts, and to their local church expansion building project. 

However, Mansfield is never far from their thoughts, and a few years ago, it seemed right to continue the legacy that Bill and Katherine had begun with the Richland County Foundation.  Keeping in mind that RCF helped both Sally and Dick with college expenses in the 1960’s, it seemed appropriate for them to set up an RCF scholarship a few years ago for students who had completed one year of college and who were majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM).  Most recently they also decided to go a step further and establish a donor advised fund which will support charities of their choice.

Dick retired from Western Electric/AT&T where he worked as a mechanical engineer and later taught in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Right out of college, Sally worked as a systems engineer for IBM, became a member of technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL) and then taught high school mathematics at Johnstown High School for a number of years.  While working at BTL she earned a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from The Ohio State University.

 

 

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