Jean's Gift Provides Accessibility
As shared by Terrill Petri, Vice President, Development
I first met Jean Buchler on a trip when I was visiting Unity supporters in the Denver area. She met me at the door of her condo, a spry 80-year-old, dressed in a beautiful purple pantsuit. She showed me around her home, filled with pictures she had taken on trips when she traveled around the world, even in her 70s. We went to lunch; I drove. She told me that she and her friends used Uber and Lyft but preferred Lyft. I was impressed. I had never used either (at least on my own).
I visited Jean several times when I traveled to her area. She was bright, energetic, and fully participating in her life. One year on my annual trip, she met me at the door of her condo propped up on a walker. She explained that she had fallen and now had to use a walker. We went to lunch at our regular restaurant, one we had frequented many times. She leaned on me for support from the car and into the restaurant as we made our way to the table.
On one of our visits, Jean shared paperwork with me, showing that she had made Unity the beneficiary of her checking account with a balance of more than $1 million!
"I am grateful for the teachings of Unity," she told me. "They are the basis for how I live my life. I know how much the teachings have meant to me, and I want to continue the outreach of Unity teachings worldwide."
We talked about capital improvement projects taking place at Unity Village that will improve accessibility to the Rose Garden and fountain courtyard. That resonated with Jean because she now had to use a walker to get around.
In December of 2020, I received a call from a friend of Jean's, letting me know that she had passed quietly in her sleep the night before. Suddenly, I was back in her condo as she told me about her travels and the amazing people she had met along the way. I remembered how she described her morning routine, sitting at her dining room table, reading Daily Word®.
Recently, we received notice from Jean's bank that Unity was the beneficiary of her checking account, now valued at $1.7 million.
Because accessibility was important to Jean, part of her estate gift will be used to make Unity Village more accessible. There are plans to install an outside elevator from the ground level up to the Fountain Courtyard. This will provide easy access for people in wheelchairs, as well as those who have difficulty traversing stairs.
I know in my heart that Jean would be thrilled to know her investment in Unity is paying rich dividends, providing joy and inspiration to thousands who visit the Village, as they are able to more fully participate in what Unity Village has to offer. We are grateful to Jean and her commitment to Unity!