The late Bill Moyer leaves $200,000 gift to community.

January 8, 2019

Bill Moyer

The late Bill Moyer leaves $200,000 gift to community.

SHELBY – The late Bill Moyer generously bequeathed $200,000 to the community, with $100,000 going to the Oceana Historical and Genealogical Society; $50,000 to the Flower Creek Cemetery; and $50,000 to the Community Foundation for Oceana County.

“The Legacy Society recognizes individuals and couples who have named the Community Foundation for Oceana County as the beneficiary of any type of gift in their will or trust,” said Community Foundation Director Tammy Carey. “You don’t have to be Bill Gates to leave a legacy. We all have the opportunity to move the dial for Oceana. Maybe it is by one small degree, maybe it is by a huge step. We become part of a community team, working together to create impact in ways that are important to us as individuals. One such member is Bill Moyer, who recently left a $200,000 bequest to the foundation.

“Bill Moyer was a tireless volunteer for the Oceana Historical and Genealogical Society, whose mission of collecting, preserving and disseminating the history of Oceana County was dear to his heart. Bill passed away last April and designated $100,000 of his bequest to establish an endowment fund to benefit the historical society. The society will annually receive a grant from Bill’s fund while saving for its future.”

Bill was known for bringing donuts every Wednesday to share with fellow volunteers. His nephew, Jeff Steel, in announcing the gift to the foundation stated that “Uncle Bill’s gift should allow the society to upgrade to fancy eclairs, cream puffs and apple fritters, and even buy an extra dozen or so!”

Bill lived a full life, proudly serving his country in World War II and then earning a business degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Business. During his working years, Bill was an executive with steel fabricator Haven-Busch in Grand Rapids. He was an accomplished carpenter and used his skills to build an addition to his lakefront cottage/home in Claybanks Township.

Other society volunteers remember Bill as an unassuming man and generous to a fault. He understood the true spirit of volunteering: Do what needs to be done, without seeking personal gain or recognition. He never tracked his volunteer time or sought any award, faithfully commuting from his Claybanks home to Hart most Wednesdays.

“He would quietly come in, leave a box of donuts unceremoniously at the front office desk, then make his way upstairs to organize and preserve the society’s photo library and accession items of a historical nature. Week after week, year after year, he donated of himself to safeguard the history and genealogy of Oceana County,” said fellow volunteer Betty Driscoll.

Bill also had a personal project: to name every soul in the Flower Creek Cemetery, whether they had a tombstone or not. He designated a second $50,000 gift to the foundation to support the maintenance, upkeep, and/or beautification needs of this cemetery. He also left a third unrestricted gift of $50,000 to the foundation.

“Bill’s bequest came as a very pleasant surprise to all of us. Sometimes that happens when folks like to remember their favorite causes in secret and then we find out as the estate settles. We are so thankful that Bill also made a gift to support the foundation’s operations. We will all put his gifts to the very best of use,” said Carey.

Leaving a gift is easy. Bequests from a will or trust are the most common way to leave a gift to the foundation. Some people set aside a certain dollar amount. Others leave a percentage of the estate or assets left over after providing for their family. Others have made the foundation the beneficiary of 401K/IRA plans or insurance policies, or have established a Charitable Gift Annuity or a Charitable Remainder Trust in favor of the Foundation. All qualify a person or couple for membership in the Legacy Society.

Gifts are completely confidential. The foundation will not ask how much is being left. You are, however, encouraged to discuss your gifts to ensure compliance with your wishes. You have the option to name your fund and outline your plans for its distribution. Then, you are assured that your plans will be followed exactly as you have outlined them. Your instructions can be changed at any time with a simple phone call to the foundation office.

“Through the Legacy Society, we recognize the people who are planning for gifts today that will provide significant benefits to our community in the future,” explained Carey.

The Community Foundation for Oceana County exists to enhance the lives of the people of Oceana by leading, promoting and channeling philanthropy that connects resources with local needs. For more information about the foundation or to discuss becoming a member of the Legacy Society, call Carey at 231.861.8335, log onto, or follow the Facebook page.

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