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Auction benefits scholarships


Fri, Nov 22nd, 2002
Posted in Features

Janene Roessler (left), President of the Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars program and Ben Love (right) are pictured prior to the auction of Mary Elizabeth Terry Love’s estate on November 2, which raised more than $16,000 for the scholarship program.

If the possessions we leave behind are any indicator of who we are as a person, then by all observations Mary Terry Love was a well-educated woman whose interests were as broad as her travels.

When the balance of her estate went on auction in Harmony on Saturday, November 2, to benefit the Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars program, more than a hundred people came to bid on Mrs. Love’s vast collection of jewelry, antique glassware, art paintings and lithographs.

In his introduction before the auction sale, Ben Love, of Preston told the audience:

“What you see around you are all items from my mother’s estate and among them are items inherited or acquired by her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Terry - he a research pathologist known world-wide, and she the descendent of a German family who went to Russia at the request of one of the last Tsars, and who were fortunate enough to get out before the Bolshevik revolution.”

Mary Elizabeth Terry was born in New York City in 1908. She attended elementary and high schools in New York, Germany, Switzerland, Nashville, Tennessee and Toledo, Ohio and grew up having learned to speak English, French and German simultaneously.

Ironically, she never graduated from high school. When the family moved to Rochester from Toledo, Ohio they stayed briefly at the Arthur Hotel. Mary asked a desk clerk where she needed to go to register for high school. He gave her directions, but failed to tell her that a junior college was also there. Unbeknownst to Mary, she enrolled in the college, consequently passing up her senior year in high school. She eventually went on to finish college at Michigan University.

In 1933 Mary married Dr. J. Grafton Love, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic. Because Mary was fluent in French and German, the couple were often asked to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries and physicians. As a result, when the Loves travelled abroad, they were often introduced to the families and friends of the physicians they had entertained in Rochester. Some of the items on auction were gifts they received from their many foreign friends.

Mary died at Charter House in Rochester in 2002 at the age of 92. While much of her estate was inherited by her four children and their families, the balance of the estate was donated to the Mayo Clinic and the Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars program.

The Dollars for Scholars was selected because Mary’s son Ben has an interest in the organization, serving as one of its directors. Ben has also set up a scholarship in the name of his son Gregory, who passed away.

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The rat-a-tat-tat of auctioneer Ron Vikre’s chatter filled the community center gymnasium as each item on the auction block was sold to a satisfied buyer.

Antiques and collectibles, old sheet music, hand painted glassware, microscopes, furniture, books, and old records were bid on and sold. There were paintings, lithographs and prints; baskets and linens.

Some items originated in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. An elaborate mother-of-pearl table came from Egypt; an abstract painting from Italy; a jade match box from the orient. There was even an opium pipe from China.

Some people came for the jewelry, which included three pearl necklaces and was housed in a separate room at the auction.

At the end of the day, more than $16,000 was raised for the Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars program.

“We’re thrilled with the contribution. This will help us give scholarships well into the future,” Janene Roessler, President of the Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars program said. “We hope it will inspire others to consider donating to the scholarship program.”

Ben Love agrees. He is hopeful that his mother’s estate auction will spawn similar kinds of fund raising efforts for the scholarship organization in the future, perhaps even an annual consignment auction.

“We’d like to be able to give more and larger scholarships in the future,” Love said.

The Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars program gives scholarships each year to eligible seniors at Fillmore Central.

Criteria include academic achievement and participation in school and community activities. Fillmore Central seniors interested in applying for scholarships should contact the school guidance counselor.

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