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The Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta has received several generous bequests over the past 30 years. Milta and Donald Hawthorne’s gift was no exception. Together, they gifted over $600,000 to the Community Foundation through their estate in 2004. At the time, their gift was the second largest contributed to the Foundation.

Milta was born on November 23, 1907, in Medicine Hat. She received schooling in Pennsylvania but returned to Medicine Hat at the age of 19. On March 9, 1931, she married Donald Hawthorne. Milta loved her community and was an active volunteer, often spending her free time with the Girl Guides, the Library, drama organizations, and at her church, St. John’s Presbyterian. Milta tended to a beautiful garden at their home on Aberdeen Street. She had an eye for design and enjoyed making her home a welcoming haven for friends and family.

Donald owned Hawthorne Menswear, a popular Medicine Hat downtown business. His nephew, Ted Emes, fondly remembers being employed 11 years at Hawthorne Menswear. Donald loved serving his community and truly wanted to make a difference. Milta and Donald spent many summers enjoying their home in Banff, they both served at the Banff St. John’s Presbyterian Church and Banff School of Fine Arts. Donald passed away on April 28, 1991 and Milta passed away 12 years later, at the age of 95, on October 9, 2003.

Donald and Milta chose to leave a portion of their estate to the Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta.

“They had a love of the community and wanted to contribute to its future. This community provided them with such a wonderful quality of life.” – Ted Emes, Nephew

Donald and Milta gave a gift that lasts forever, by choosing to include the Community Foundation in their estate planning. Since 2004, the Donald and Milta Hawthorne Fund has distributed almost $400,000 to the community’s greatest needs through Smart and Caring Community Grants. Their gift has made, and continues to make, a considerable impact to charities across Southeastern Alberta – thank you Donald and Milta.

“30 Stories for 30 Years”