Unrestricted Funds

Named funds for Better Communities

The Distribution Committee of RAF determines who the beneficiaries of these grants are through a biannual application process open to all charitable organizations serving the greater Rochester area. These grants support changing needs in the broadly defined areas of: education, health & human services, arts & culture and community development.

The general unrestricted fund accepts contributions of any size. 

Thank you to the following people for their generous gifts to benefit the community.

Mildred Adams

Mildred Adams was born in 1899 in Manchester, N.H. In 1930, she moved to Rochester and began work at Mayo Clinic as an associate in physiologic chemistry.

Lora Anderson

In 1911, Lora Anderson married Swantt William Anderson, and taught at Rochester High School. She bequeathed her entire estate to the foundation because “she was very loyal to the city and wanted to do something for the community.”

Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Barnhart

Robert Barnhart was the manager of the Skell Gas Bottling Plant in Rochester from 1949 to 1974. Olive Barnhart worked for Mayo Clinic in several positions.

Gwendolyn S. Beatty

Gwendolyn S. Beatty was born in 1895 in Coon Rapids, Iowa. She moved to Rochester in the 1950s and worked at Weber & Judd.

Robert A. Bezoier

Robert A. Bezoier served the Rochester Area Foundation for 33 years as a member of the Board of Trustees, chairman of the board and as executive director. He served as president of First National Bank in Rochester until his retirement in 1965.

The Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation is a private foundation located in St. Paul, Minn., with interests in education, human services, health, arts, humanities and leadership. Their generous gifts have leveraged new contributions to meet our communities’ growing needs.

Dr. Donald and Helen Campbell

In 1933, Dr. and Mrs. Campbell were married in Columbus, Neb. Following Dr. Campbell’s graduation from the University of Nebraska in Medicine, he was a medical resident at Anker Hospital. Later he joined the Mayo Foundation in internal medicine and hematology and served as associate professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School. Dr. Campbell died Oct. 30, 1991, and Mrs. Campbell died Jan. 28, 2003.

Marion Essex

Marion Essex was trained as a pianist and taught piano in Rochester. She was a charter member of the League of Women Voters, Rochester Music Club and the Rochester Art Center.

Mrs. Oscar V. (Ella) Hanson

Born in St. Paul in 1875, Ella Hanson and her parents moved to Rochester in 1885. She served as assistant librarian at the Rochester Public Library. In 1907, she married Oscar V. Hanson.

Donald R. Hardy

Donald Hardy was born in British Columbia. He came to Rochester in 1937 and worked as a tool and die maker for Crenlo for more than 37 years.

Harry J. Harwick

The Rochester Area Foundation was founded in 1944 because of the leadership and vision of Mr. Harwick. He was elected chairman of the original Board of Trustees and served as chair until 1958.

Mary Kahler (Mrs. Philip) Hench

Mary Kahler Hench was a civic leader and philanthropist. Her father, John H. Kahler, was the founder of Kahler Corp. In 1927, Mary Kahler married Dr. Philip Hench.

Nettie L. Henke

Born in Oronoco Township in 1889, Nettie lived in Olmsted County until her death at age 102. She was a bank teller at Olmsted Bank and assisted her husband, A. Herman Henke, with their farm.

Dr. A.B. Hunt

Born in Northfield, Minn., in 1903, Dr. Hunt moved to Rochester in 1935 to work at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. In 1954, he attained the rank of professor.

Irene F. Johnston

After personal bequests, Irene F. Johnston directed that the Rochester Area Foundation receive the residue of her estate. She worked as a legal secretary for the Samuel Allen Law Firm.

Priscilla Keely

Priscilla Keely, a native of Hamilton, Ohio, came to Rochester in November 1921 as a member of the Section of Medical Social Service at Mayo Clinic. In 1927, she was named director of Medical Social Service.

Emily J. Kennedy

Emily J. Kennedy moved to Rochester following her marriage to Austin A. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy was founder of Olmsted Federal Savings and Loan Association. Mrs. Kennedy was active in the League of Women Voters and the Rochester Flower Club.

Violet Lucius

Violet Lucius was born in 1901 in Wabasha County, Minn. In 1906, her family moved to Rochester. She was employed as a reference librarian until 1966. In 1976, she married Michael J. Lucius.

Dr. James C. Masson

Dr. James C. Masson, a native of Ontario, Canada, came to Rochester in 1912 to receive training in surgery from Drs. William and Charles Mayo. He was appointed as head of a section in surgery in 1915. In 1935, he was named chief of the surgical staff of Mayo Clinic, a post he occupied until his retirement in 1949.

William J. and Hattie D. Mayo

In 1985, the sole surviving trustee of the Dr. W.J. Mayo Trusts, Dr. Waltman Walters, and his wife, Mrs. Phoebe Mayo Walters, directed that a gift be made to the foundation. Mrs. Phoebe Mayo Walters encouraged the gift in recognition of her parents’ long-standing charitable interests in the community.

Gilbert H. McCarthy

Gilbert H. McCarthy was in the banking business in Duluth until 1922 when he came to Rochester as part owner of Nelson Motor Sales, now Rochester Ford/Toyota. While in Duluth, Mr. McCarthy purchased original shares of a small company. The company, 3M, became one of America’s fastest growing companies.

Stephen Dow Mills

Stephen Dow Mills directed a personal bequest to the foundation to provide unrestricted support for the community. Many knew him as “Doctor Dow.”

Dr. M. Elizabeth "Betty" Mussey

Dr. Mussey was a consultant in obstetrics and gynecology with a special interest in chemotherapy of gynecologic cancer. She was appointed consultant at Mayo Clinic in 1947 and became an associate professor in the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in 1968. Dr. Mussey’s father was a founding trustee of the Rochester Area Foundation. Dr. Mussey died in 2002.

Daisy B. (Mrs. Henry S.) Plummer

Daisy B. Plummer was a patron of the arts and promoted cultural activities. Her husband, Dr. Henry S. Plummer, was a formative force in Mayo Clinic. He revolutionized various areas of medicine and was recognized for his expertise as an accredited engineer and horticulturist.

Fred W. Schuster Jr.

Fred W. Schuster Jr. was born in Rochester in 1913. Following graduation from the Harvard Graduate School of Business, he joined his father at Schuster Realty Co. He was a trustee of the foundation from 1953 to 1980.

Margaret C. Schuster

Margaret Schuster was an active member of Calvary Episcopal Church and its Women’s Auxiliary. She also belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary and the Rochester Golf and Country Club.

Dr. James Minott and Marvel Morrow Stickney

Dr. Stickney, a Mayo internist for 40 years, and Mrs. Stickney, a Mayo neuropathology technician for 10 years, were longtime residents of Rochester and devoted to the community and Mayo Clinic. They had particular interests in medicine, cultural life of the city and responsible administration of the affairs of Rochester. Their four daughters created this fund in loving memory.

Leslie and Crystal Thornton

Leslie and Crystal Thornton were lifelong residents of Rochester. They married in 1934. Leslie was employed in retail sales at Briese Men’s Clothing, Penney’s and Knowlton Department Store until 1951. Crystal worked as a medical secretary at Mayo Clinic.

Phoebe Mayo Walters

Phoebe Mayo Walters was the last surviving child of the founders of Mayo Clinic. Phoebe was born in 1897 in Rochester. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Wellesley College in 1920 and returned to Rochester to begin nursing training at Saint Marys Hospital. In 1921, she married Dr. Waltman Walters.

Dr. Waltman Walters

Dr. Walters was an internationally recognized Mayo Clinic surgeon. He was a member of Mayo Clinic’s Board of Governors from 1930 to 1960. In 1937, he was one of the founders of the American Board of Surgery and was instrumental in originating the American Legion’s National Medical Advisory Board, the forerunner to the Veterans Rehabilitation Administration.

Howard E. West

Howard E. West opened a private law practice in Rochester in 1945. The foundation benefited from his leadership as he served as a foundation trustee.

Jane West

Jane West was born in Pine Island, graduated from the Minnesota School of Business in 1937 and moved to Rochester after World War II. Her husband, Howard West, served as a foundation trustee.

Western Digital Corp.

As a corporate citizen in Rochester, Western Digital recognized a responsibility, consistent with its business objectives, to respond to the needs of the area in which it operated.

Edward A. and Anne L. Wobschall

Edward Wobschall was active in the Rochester Masonic Lodge, Rotary and served on the board of Bethel Lutheran Church. Anne Wobschall was a member of the Rochester Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.