Boettchers Provide for Spencer’s Students and Community Endowment
Bruno and Laverne Boettcher
Bruno and Laverne Boettcher were a couple so grounded in their hometown of Spencer, in north-central Nebraska, that they simply could not be described apart from it.
They both were born in 1913 on farms north of Spencer. They attended the same rural elementary school, in district No. 55, and Spencer High School. They married in 1942 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, north of Spencer, and when they died, they were buried at that church.
They spent their lives extending their roots in this little community of 541, attending church and community functions, singing in the Community Christmas Chorus, teaching Sunday School, taking care of the farms they bought from their families and lived on until health dictated otherwise.
In support of their town, they spent their money there rather than elsewhere, when possible. And when they died, they left a portion of their estate there through the Spencer Area Community Foundation Fund, an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation.
The Boettchers’ interest in helping Spencer echoes the Nebraska Community Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life in rural communities. Bruno and Laverne Boettcher thought it would be better to keep their money in Spencer, where they knew it could do some real good.
During their lifetimes they created a bequest in their will. With this type of gift they remained in control of their assets during their lifetimes in the event the assets were needed for their own security. Then upon their deaths the bequest funded college scholarships for graduates of Spencer-Naper High School and helped to grow the unrestricted endowment within the Spencer Community Foundation Fund.
This reflects not only the Boettchers’ generosity to the community, but also optimism and hope for the next generation. With no children of their own to plan for, their thoughts turned to other children who will carry the community forward.
The Boettchers had the rare perspective that comes from having lived nearly 90 years in the same area. They could see the importance of commitment to one’s community. And they knew that if a community is to thrive, its residents must set down roots that grow long into the future.