The assisted living wing at Providence Brookside Manor was dedicated in honor of Dorothy and Wilson Appelgren on Monday in a ceremony at Brookside that included the unveiling of a new sign near the manor's lobby. The sign, made of etched glass, was created by Hood River artist Ken Tatyrek.
Wilson was on hand for the ceremony and performed the unveiling honors. Dorothy, his wife of nearly 60 years, died in December of 1999.
Wilson recently made a substantial donation to the Providence Hood River Foundation's Brookside Manor Endowment Fund -- fulfilling a request made by Dorothy before her death.
"She left this to Brookside Manor," Wilson said. "The honor is really in Dorothy's name."
The fund, which totals more than $88,000, ensures that people who have lived at the facility for more than two years will never have to leave because of financial difficulties. Brookside has been open only a year, so the fund has not been used yet.
Wilson, who retired as comptroller of Duckwall-Pooley Fruit Company in the early 1990s, was a 30-year member of the hospital board. He also was a charter board member of the Down Manor Corporation, and he and Dorothy were the first residents to move into the manor when it opened in 1988.
Dorothy, a life-long resident of Hood River, suffered from Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's during her last few years. When Wilson could no longer care for her, she moved to the Hood River Care Center.
"She would have loved this," said Marge Talley, Dorothy's sister. "She always liked to help, whatever it was. She liked to be in the middle." Other family members were also at the dedication, including Dorothy's brothers Dick and John Duckwall and half-brother Fred Duckwall.
Jonathan Emerson, executive director of the Providence Hood River Foundation, said the dedication was a way to "express our feelings and gratitude for a couple who exemplifies what this community is about."
Emerson said that Wilson had given the money to Brookside with instructions to the Providence board to do with it as the trustees saw fit. After "much thought," he said, the board decided the money would be best used in the endowment fund.
"(The fund) is here to take care of people who can no longer take care of themselves," Emerson said. "These dollars will stay here. These dollars will take care of our people in our town."