Inspired by the legacy of Ben and Evelyn (Evie) Dysart and their longstanding commitment to the Deer River area, Mary Walker, a niece of Ben and Evelyn and Edythe Tucker, Evie’s sister, made a contribution to the Deer River Area Health Care Foundation.
The Dysart’s were second generation Deer River residents who Mary described as “quiet and not showy people” Ben and Evie fell in love as high school sweethearts and returned to Deer River after World War II. Hard working and down to earth, the Dysart’s lived and worked at a farm originally homesteaded by Ben’s parents until health issues forced Ben to find another line of work. Evie worked as a teacher at King Elementary School and was well known and loved by many in the community. Sadly, the Dysart’s lost two children in infancy, and donated to the hospital in memory of their son Ben Jr. and daughter Sue. Mary described this as characteristic of both Ben and Evie, who would not have wanted recognition for themselves, but still felt strongly about contributing to the hospital.
According to Mary, the Deer River Healthcare Center played a vital role in Ben and Evie’s lives. When the time came to find long term care for Evie, who was suffering from dementia, Homestead Nursing Home at Deer River Healthcare Center was the obvious choice. “I cannot tell you how wonderful that nursing home was…they really cared for the residents. Everyone from the doctors to the nurses were wonderful.” remembers Mary.