WEBSTER, S.D. — A piano teacher who died last year left behind more than her teaching legacy in her South Dakota town, to the tune of $4.2 million for high school scholarships, youth programs, the library and a local church.
Phyllis Hansee, who died at age 98, helped set up the endowments to help the city of Webster through the South Dakota Community Foundation, said Tom Sannes, the attorney for Hansee’s estate.
“It’s an amazing gift,” Sannes told The Aberdeen News (http://bit.ly/2txhV8F ). “It’s going to be a game-changer in the community for decades to come.”
Hansee began teaching piano lessons in 1953, when she moved back to Webster to manage her father’s farming interests after his death. Sannes said Hansee was an only child and had no children of her own, but that she was a fixture at local children’s sporting events and high school activities.
“All the students she had over the years really became her children,” said Adrienne McKeown, one of Hansee’s former students.
McKeown also is the director of the University Alumni Foundation at Augustana University, which will receive $10,000 of the endowment. The funding includes a scholarship for a Webster Area High School graduate who chooses to attend the university in Sioux Falls.
Other gifts will go to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Webster, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops in Webster, and the high school music department, among other groups.
“It just provides resources they need to continue to make improvements in the community now and into the future,” said Stephanie Judson, president of the South Dakota Community Foundation.
Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com