$10 million from Stegner siblings to Wayne County beneficiaries
Generations of inhabitants of Wayne County received dental care from the brother Dr. Robert J. Stegner .
His sisters, identical twins who rode their tandem bicycle around Honesdale, taught piano in the family’s borough house to an untold number of kids.
Dr. Robert J. Stegner, as well as Joan M. and Janet T. Stegner, lived modest lives and made wise financial decisions throughout their long lives.
Now, 13 groups, 12 of which are based in Wayne County, stand to gain from their kindness forever.
The Robert E. and Leila Stegner Family Foundation was established by the siblings in memory of their parents, who ran the J.H. Stegner Grocery Store and Bakery in Honesdale. The foundation was officially launched on Monday by Honesdale National Bank.
Once the settlement of the estates of Janet and Joan Stegner is complete, it is projected that the foundation will have a principal balance of more than $10 million.
It is anticipated that the initial round of payments to the 13 recipients chosen by the siblings will exceed $500,000.
The annual donations, according to Charles Curtin, vice president and trust officer at Honesdale National, “will be revolutionary for some of them.”
The Stegner name is well-known in Honesdale, according to the bank, which is serving as the foundation’s trustee.
The parents ran the family grocery store on Main Street throughout the majority of the 20th century, and it was known for its freshly baked bread as well as its seasonal fruit stollen and lebkuchen.
Dr. Robert Stegner served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was honorably discharged in 1947. As a young man, he delivered Western Union telegrams by bicycle while working at the store. He was a Temple University School of Dentistry alum and worked as a dentist for more than 40 years in Honesdale.
The Stegner twins, Joan and Janet, were gifted musicians who earned degrees in piano and trumpet from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. They frequently rode their tandem two-seat bicycle through Honesdale while waving to everyone while wearing similar clothing.
The three siblings were all talented people, but Curtin, who first met them around ten years ago, described them as homebodies.
“All of Dr. Bob’s life, the twins and him were housemates. They were never married and none of them ever had children “explained he. “They simply saved their cash. They were quite frugal and made numerous investments.”
He claimed that the twins, who enjoyed cultivating tulips and other flowers in their backyard, continued to dress similarly into their latter years and to stroll hand-in-hand through Honesdale.
He remarked, “They were just the sweetest little ladies.”
According to Curtin, their brother, who had a weakness for Hershey’s milk chocolate bars and loved investing, managed the sisters’ funds.
“By looking at them on the street, you wouldn’t believe that they had accumulated such a big fortune,” he remarked.
Bethany Cemetery, Victims’ Intervention Program, Wayne County Food Pantry, Wayne County Children and Youth, Wayne County Red Cross Chapter, Salvation Army, University of Rochester Eastman School of Music, Honesdale Ministerium, Wayne Memorial Health Foundation, and each of the four Honesdale Fire Department companies: Hose Company 1, Alert Hook & Ladder Company 2, Protection Engine 3, and Texas Engine are among the 13 organizations chosen to receive the annual donations.
According to Elizabeth Nagy, vice president and director of sales, marketing, and digital banking at Honesdale National, all of the winners were organizations the siblings belonged to or thought would help the county or the general public in the future.
She said, “I genuinely think they had sustainability in mind.”
Some of the bequests had particular terms attached, according to Curtin.
For instance, the maintenance of Bethany Cemetery will pay particular care to the tombs and stones of the Stegner family. The earnings are designated for equipment acquisition and upkeep under the terms of the gift to the fire companies, which mentions that the brothers’ father worked as a driver for Hose Company 1 in the 1920s.
According to spokesman David Mazzenga, the Victims’ Intervention Program, which aids victims of domestic, sexual, and other abuse in Wayne and Pike counties, was thrilled to learn it had been chosen as one of the winning organizations.
He didn’t know the Stegners, but he knew they had a reputation for being community-minded people who were “very much about giving back and helping out.”
The goal of VIP, according to him, is to empower victims, educate the public, and encourage people to picture a society free from violence.
I am confident that this cash will help us significantly as we work toward those particular objectives and carry on with our current service offerings, Mazzenga said.