A family’s love for children and our local parks has turned into a legacy that will touch lives for generations through a new fund at the Scott County Community Foundation to benefit the Scottsburg parks.
Robin Eve was known throughout the community by many who would see her walking with her mother, Mary, always with a smile on her face and a compliment to accompany her greeting.
Mayor Bill Graham became close with the two women after receiving a phone call from a local doctor, who had Mary in his office with health problems, but who would not communicate with the doctor and asked for the mayor instead. After he arrived and acted as the “go-between” in discussing the diagnosis, they discovered she had five different types of cancer.
Mayor Graham drove Mary to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville for her treatments, and Robin stayed with his family during that time. They both became a part of his family after that, coming over for holidays and enjoying the time spent with the mayor’s grandchildren and dogs. Mayor Graham made certain the women, who had no insurance, signed up for Medicare, disability and Meals on Wheels, even taking Robin to the doctor for the first time in her life, even though she was in her mid-40’s. Whenever others transported them to stores, doctor appointments, etc. they always insisted on paying those people for it.
“They were very independent and proud,” said Mayor Graham. “They were very loyal to people.”
Robin had worked for Blue River Services and Futures Unlimited, and she took her work seriously, always doing her job to the best of her ability and enjoying it at the same time. When she saw others who had disabilities more severe than hers, she would take them under her wing and make sure they were taken care of. She had also competed in Special Olympics.
“Robin could tell you about every movie or TV show that she really liked, like Andy Griffith or Dukes of Hazzard,” shared Mayor Graham. “She remembered every time and every channel of every TV show that she watched.”
More than anything, Robin and Mary cherished the simple things in life. Mary had an electric organ and enjoyed playing music.
“They loved going to the parks to sit and people-watch, feed the ducks, watch kids play,” said Mayor Graham. “They’d be the first people to arrive at Pig Roast in the Park and the last to leave.”
Mary passed away in 2012. When Mary was going through her cancer treatments, she had named Mayor Graham power of attorney to take care of Robin, which is what he continued to do after Mary’s death. Through the assistance of LifeSpan Resources, he discovered that there are adult foster care families, and Robin then began living with the loving family of Yvonne Meadows in Austin. Robin died at the age of 57 on June 21, 2013.
After ensuring that all funeral expenses were covered, Mayor Graham talked to Robin’s cousins about what to do with the remaining money from her estate, and suggested donating it to benefit the Scottsburg city parks. Robin’s cousin, John Kurtz Sr., wholeheartedly agreed with this idea, and coordinated with numerous family members who were entitled to portions of the estate, to give up their share to provide a benefit to something that Robin loved so much.
They decided to establish the Robin Eve Memorial Fund at the Scott County Community Foundation, where the original donation would be invested and only a portion of the earnings spent, allowing the fund to grow and benefit the city parks for generations to come.
“It was a no-brainer,” said Mayor Graham on why he thought the Community Foundation was a great fit for the funds. He was very familiar with the Community Foundation, as he had encouraged the formation of the organization over 17 years ago. When Otis Collier, a Scottsburg resident who loved gardening and was known for his beautiful rose gardens, passed away, he left his estate to the Scottsburg Beautification Committee. The Committee then established a fund at the Community Foundation to benefit the Otis Collier Memorial Garden at Lake Iola. “By using the Community Foundation, the money can grow and then it can be decided in the future where it is best spent,” said Mayor Graham.
“Robin was one of the most loving, compassionate people that I have ever known,” shared Mayor Graham. “Robin and Mary would be tickled to death and very pleased to know their money is going to benefit children, disabled and elderly people who enjoy the parks.”