Giving Stories

Estate gifts a ‘great boon’ for parishes

A parishioner at Star of the Sea in White Rock has left a significant estate gift that will benefit the parish for years to come. (Photo: Ruby and John Pusey, BCC file photo)

BY AGNIESZKA RUCK         Article published in The B.C. Catholic. Used with permission.

A long-time member of Star of the Sea Parish has passed away, but her impact on the community continues.

After immigrating to Canada from the U.S. with her husband in the 1960s, Ruby Marguerite Pusey became a steadfast White Rock parishioner and volunteer with many local organizations. In her will she chose to give a significant gift to Star of the Sea.

Friend and executor Tom Kirstein said that just as Pusey came to rely on the community for comfort after her husband John died in 1994, so the community could rely on her.

“She was always close to Star of the Sea and cared greatly about the parish,” said Kirstein, who knew Pusey for 45 years. “Ruby volunteered at Star of the Sea and would have absolutely loved all she met, but especially the children.”

He hopes her significant estate gift will make a big difference in the parish community.

“Ruby would hope that underprivileged families would be assisted by the parish, but there are no strings attached to the gift. Ruby had many friends who would have relied on the support of community services during her almost 56 years in White Rock.”

Pusey was 90 years old when she died in March, 2020. A graveside service was held at Gardens of Gethsemani cemetery in Surrey.

Father Glenn Dion, pastor of Star of the Sea, said whenever someone leaves a gift for the church in their will, it’s a “great boon” to the parish.

“The person who gives a gift is continuing the mission of the Church through the life of the parish that they were members of. They are still helping out, even though we don’t see them anymore in the pew,” said Father Dion.

As churches grapple with the effects COVID-19 restrictions have had on giving, and as Star of the Sea works to raise funds for its building projects, the timing is especially remarkable.

“Our parish has been blessed with legacy gifts over many years, some for the support of ongoing parish needs, for outreach to the needy, and some more recently for our parish centre building fund,” said Father Dion.

“We are grateful for those who have remembered us in their estate planning, and we pray in thanksgiving for their kindness.”

Along with their generosity, the Puseys will be remembered for their support of the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation and the BC SPCA, as well as for their friendship, entertaining friends and neighbours in their White Rock home where, drawing upon John’s extensive L.A. experience, he made the finest martinis “this side of Chicago.”

Parish Family

Retired Office Manager Leaves a Planned Gift for her Parish

Having volunteered for her parish for over 50 years, Sammy has witnessed first-hand the many blessings, along with the many challenges, that a parish encounters daily. Sammy, a Catholic Women’s League member, volunteered as an organist, a CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) coordinator, and helped in many other ministries in her parish, St. Luke’s in Maple Ridge.

When she retired as the parish office manager, her desire to help her parish did not waver. Sammy’s commitment to her community inspired her to leave a thoughtful gift of life insurance to her parish. “I wanted to be able to help my parish, and this is one way I can make a financial contribution.”

With five children, 12 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren, St. Luke’s has been an integral part of the life of her growing family. Sammy’s gift will help her parish continue its mission of bringing the Gospel to the community. She hopes that her modest contribution will inspire others to do the same.

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