BRACEBRIDGE - The Pines Long Term Care Home is trying to figure out how to spend $138,963.
Hans Muehling (left) enjoys a St. Patrick’s Day celebration with his wife Margarete (right) at the Pines Long Term Care Home in Bracebridge. Muehling died in May 2011 and bequeathed $138,963 to the Pines.
Hans Heinz Muehling, a former resident at the facility, donated the money to the Pines after he died on May 31, 2011. Muehling lived with his wife at the long-term care residence for a year and almost four months, before his death.
Muehling was born in Germany in 1930. At some point he married Margarete and moved to Canada, although which happened first is uncertain.
Mary Lodge, office manager at the Pines, said details about Muehling’s life are vague.
Muehling had difficulty speaking at the end of his life, said Lodge, but no trouble writing. He even carried his sense of humour onto paper.
“If it was a one-liner and he was going to get you, if it didn’t come out, he had no problem zinging you on the paper,” she said.
The donation is the largest amount ever donated to the Pines.
“It was so big, I remember in my mind having a little heart attack,” said Lodge.
Previously, the largest donation has been $25,000.
The Pines Support Committee, which handles fundraising and donations for the Pines, created a special committee “to make sure we handled this the right way,” said Lodge.
One of the goals is to look at what Muehling valued to make sure his donation is spent on things that he would find important.
Lodge said one of the things that may be taken into consideration is communication aids.
One of the things Muehling valued was quality, said Lodge.
He drove a Mercedes and a BMW, and he liked fine German chocolate.
Muehling was always impeccably dressed, said Lodge. He even wore his jacket to come down to breakfast.
“Jacket, pleated pants — that’s who he was,” she said.
He had great love for his wife. Even though she suffered from dementia, he would come to see her often.
“He would walk into the unit and they would look at each other, then he would go and sit with her and they’d hold hands,” she said.
He also kept up with technology.
Lodge said when he came to live at the Pines, he brought his laptop and did a lot of trading on the stock exchange.
“For a gentleman born in 1930 he had no problem working his way around his laptop.”
The committee includes staff and past staff of the Pines, as well as families of the residents. Lodge said they would like to hear from people who knew Muehling more intimately.
An unveiling will be scheduled at a later date.