Family endowment honors contributions of Myrtle Gass

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sharing memories of his wife, Clint Gass gets ready to present a plaque remembering his wife, Myrtle Gass, to Johnson Nichols Health Clinic director Ruth Ralph Monday evening.

The family of Myrtle Gass has established a new endowment for the benefit of Johnson Nichols Health Clinic, the Putnam County Community Foundation has announced.

The endowment will provide unrestricted financial support to the Johnson Nichols Health Clinic or to a successor organization providing health services to Putnam County citizens who lack access to health care.

Myrtle Gass, R.N., was a member of The Forum, a Sunday school class at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, which first envisioned the clinic in the 1960s.

Originally named Putnam County Health Services, the clinic opened in November 1970 in a house on Maple Street donated by Frances Hickman. Two other members of the Sunday School Class were Dr. James B. Johnson and Dr. Anne Nichols who were also strong advocates for the clinic.

After the clinic was renamed to recognize their contributions, the widow of Dr. Johnson, wrote a letter to the editor of the Banner Graphic, expressing the family's appreciation of the recognition, but also recognizing the contributions of "a very caring and concerned registered nurse, Myrtle Gass."

"One cannot operate a successful clinic without the help of the faithful nurses, and Myrtle Gass was such a person," Johnson said.

Myrtle Gass' husband, Clint, and their three sons, Dr. Frederick Gass (Beachwood, Ohio), Dr. Kenneth Gass (Bellingham, Wash.) and Dr. Glenn Gass (Bloomington), were pleased to have the opportunity to recognize her contributions. "She dedicated countless hours to the clinic. It was very important to her."

"I remember my mom going to the clinic at all hours and never making a dime for it -- and never wanting that," Glenn Gass said at a Monday reception marking the endowment's establishment. "It's a good cause. The fact that this (clinic) still exists decades later is proof that there is a need and that this is a good cause."

Anyone may contribute to the Myrtle Gass Endowment for Johnson Nichols Health Clinic or start a new endowment in his/her own name. Contributions to the endowment should be made payable to the Putnam County Foundation with "Myrtle Gass Endowment" in the memo, and mailed to 2 S. Jackson St., Greencastle, IN 46135.

Foundation staff members are available to help donors make gifts of cash, stock, retirement assets, life insurance, bequests, real estate and other types of gifts.

The Putnam County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1985 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership, enriching the quality of life and strengthening community in Putnam County. The Foundation administers more than 225 funds and endowments for donors supporting a variety of charities.

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