Alice and Gerald Sutherland spent nearly 60 devoted years of marriage together, building a foundation of love and support for future generations of their family.
However, their passionate commitment to their South Texas community was just as important in their eyes, and their lasting legacy is rooted in service and giving back to make a difference in the lives of friends, loved ones and, in many cases, even complete strangers.
Gerald passed away in 2012, but the company he founded left an indelible mark on South Texas and on CHRISTUS Spohn. Gerald began Masonry Construction Company, and starting in the 1950s, helped to build some of the most recognizable structures in the Coastal Bend. Even after retiring, he had one more job to complete, says Alice, one that was near and dear to his heart for numerous reasons.
“We got to know many people at CHRISTUS Spohn over the years, and in particular Gerald got to know Sister Kathleen, Sister Bridget and all the other good people that were associated with Spohn,” says Alice. “CHRISTUS Spohn was a dear institution to him for the way he was treated and how he was cared for during his time he spent in the hospital over the years, and he just shared an exceptional camaraderie with everyone at Spohn.
“He was officially retired, but his last brick job was at CHRISTUS Spohn-South, and he did it mostly because of the fact that you could consider Spohn a ‘lifesaver’ as far as for our health and livelihood. It meant a lot to him to do that job and it’s something for which he was immensely proud.”
As with other members of the Dr. Arthur E. Spohn Society – those benefactors who have included the CHRISTUS Spohn Foundation in their estate plans – the Sutherlands’ generosity helps to continue the legacy of CHRISTUS Spohn, its mission and ministry.
“I know that Gerald would recommend that anyone who had care at CHRISTUS Spohn for any period of time should consider giving back to the ministry of care,” says Alice. “It’s something that was important to our family.”
Alice is quick to point out that Gerald built his company from the ground up through determination and plenty of hard work, but he also had help along the way, something that he never forgot.
“Gerald always enjoyed giving back to people, and that’s what he was known for in the community,” says Alice. “He would help out in any way he thought would be best. He was just a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.”
The CHRISTUS Spohn Foundation is devoted to helping you decide how to best leave a lasting legacy and can provide the proper documentation and language for your estate plans. For more information, contact Linda Arnold, Director of Development, at 361-881-3940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on June 11, 2016