For the City Times
Through the estate of Ruth E. Salzmann, the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, Salvation Army, Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church and the Stevens Point Area YMCA Foundation each received a gift in the amount of $300,000 to be used to support programs and services to the benefit of our community.
Salzmann was a long time member and elder of Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church and attended Silver Sneaker classes at the Steven Point Area YMCA. She also participated in the national Senior Olympics during her retirement. She was a proud member of the Stevens Point community and supported many organizations during her lifetime.
“Ruth was a great lady. Her stories about being a professional woman during a time when very few women were in leadership roles were always interesting and sometime hard to believe. She was very accomplished, and truly a remarkable woman. We will be forever grateful for her generosity,” said Kelly Caughlan, Foundation Director at the Y.
Caughlan added that the Y will invest Salzmann’s gift in their program enhancement, annual campaign and Y camp trust funds. The income generated from these three invested funds will be used to increase the impact of Y programs and services in our community, provide financial assistance to those in need and ensure that every camper has enriching experiences in an outdoor, fun and safe environment.
The YMCA Foundation Board of Trustees has the responsibility to oversee the investments and distributions from the YMCA Trust Funds.
“Ruth was a faithful, smart, and funny woman. She believed in Frame as a community of faith where people could ask questions, find meaning, care for one another, and work together to reach out to the larger community through members’ hands-on involvement as well as through Frame’s Community Mission Grants. We miss Ruth a great deal and are grateful for her generosity to Frame, which will help to strengthen our mission and outreach,” said Reverend Dr. Susan Gilbert Zencka, pastor at Frame Church.
Salzmann was a member of the Heinz Living Legacy Circle at the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin which recognizes people who plan to leave a gift with the Foundation in their estate planning documents. When contacted by Executive Director Terry Rothmann in 2009 about how she wished her gift to be used, Ruth replied that she was most interested in helping people and battered women and that she wanted the Foundation’s Grants Committee to make the allocations. Ruth’s gift has been placed in the Helping People Fund-Fund One at the Foundation where it will help Portage County residents forever.
Salzmann, an executive vice president and actuary when she retired from Sentry Insurance in 1984, was the first woman vice president at Sentry and the first woman to serve on the Sentry Board of Directors. She was also the first woman president of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a distinguished alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.
In 2000, she was named one of the “100 Leading Women” by Business Insurance.
An accomplished cornet/trumpet player as well as tennis player, she was also well known for her sense of humor. She annually celebrated Old Maid’s Day – a national holiday on June 4 – by creating and sending cards to her friends and family.
Salzmann passed away on July 24, 2014 at the age of 95.