Saturday, July 18, 2009

Murder Victim Leaves Estate to Library System

You may have read in the Patriot-News this week, or seen on abc27 News that the library system was named the sole beneficiary of Beatrice Kelley's estate. She was a voracious reader and longtime library visitor to the East Pennsboro Branch Library and the Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill. Her generous gift will likely bring the library system close to $300,000 later this year.

I'm sure that many of you will recall her tragic story. She was found murdered in her East Pennsboro Township home last fall. Her nephew, John F. Loftus, III, has been charged with her murder and the theft of her credit cards.

The Cumberland County Library System board planned to announce her wonderful legacy later this year once the estate was settled and decisions had been made on what to do with the funds.

However, her other nephew, Jerry Kelley, beat us to it -- and rightfully so!

Mr. Kelley contacted abc27 News about the gift because he was so upset about how the news media had unfairly caricatured his aunt as some kind of solitary eccentric. He wanted everyone to know the human being behind the story, and to tell everyone what a kind, generous, smart and often opinionated woman his Aunt Bea was.

Well, the TV news piece did a good job doing just that.

As for myself, I can't tell you how amazed, touched and stunned I was that she had chosen to name the library system as her sole beneficiary. What a lasting legacy!

When I was interviewed for the story, they asked me what I would like to say to Beatrice. It's certainly difficult to put into words all the emotions that I feel about her story. So, I think it is best to just simply say thank you Beatrice. Thank you so much!