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Family creates the John W. Daywalt Scholarship Endowment in the Community Foundation of Wabash County

The Community Foundation of Wabash County and Kathleen Daywalt, wife of the late John Wesley Daywalt, are pleased to announce the creation of the John W. Daywalt Scholarship Endowment in the Community Foundation of Wabash County. 

Kathleen Daywalt established the John W. Daywalt Scholarship Endowment to memorialize John. The endowment will provide scholarships to Wabash High School graduates who have been accepted into one of the three Indiana Colleges of Pharmacy, specifically Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Manchester University College of Pharmacy or Purdue University College of Pharmacy. 

The scholarship award will be made to the College of Pharmacy and commence upon acceptance and matriculation into the Doctor of Pharmacy program.  The scholarship shall not be provided for pre-pharmacy undergraduate course work.  The scholarship is renewable up to three years, contingent upon academic standing. Eligible candidates will have satisfactorily completed the requisite undergraduate pre-pharmacy course work and will pursue on a full-time basis a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree. Eligible candidates shall have maintained in high school a minimum grade point average of 3.25 on a 4-point scale, or equivalent. Selection criteria shall be demonstrated financial need, academic performance and work ethic.

Mr. Daywalt was born in 1921 and grew up in Union Mills, from where he walked about a mile a day to attend Wabash City Schools.  At the young age of 14 he began working for Gackenheimer Pharmacies delivering prescriptions on bicycle to customers and physicians. 

According to Mrs. Daywalt, it was Robert Gackenheimer who in 1939 suggested to John, upon his graduation from high school, that he “come along with me to the Indianapolis School of Pharmacy.  Robert loaned John $25.00 to attend.” 

Additionally, Wabash citizen, Mrs. Baer also gave John money to attend his first year of Pharmacy School.  Eventually he was awarded a scholarship and graduated valedictorian in 1943 from the Indianapolis School, now Butler University, after which he entered the U.S. Navy where he served as Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class during World War II.  After the war, John served in Great Lakes and San Diego Naval Stations before returning to Gackenheimer’s in Wabash.  He married Kathleen D. Pressler in 1948.

Kathleen graduated from LaFontaine High School, having grown up in Treaty. John sponsored Kate as a candidate in the Indiana Gladiola Ball.  At the time, Kathleen worked at General Electric and rented an apartment on West Main Street on a weekly basis.  She won the queen contest in 1947, and soon after went to work at Hetzner’s Jewelry store until 1950. 

According to Kathleen, “what John loved about pharmacy was that he loved to help people.”  She adds, “There were plenty of people who consulted John before a physician, they were fond to say, “John Daywalt, he’s my doctor.” When ask why she elected to create the scholarship endowment, Kathleen responds, “Just because it was the love of John’s life, mine too.”

In establishing the endowment, Kathleen helps students pursue a career in pharmacy and preserves the memory of her husband, his love of pharmacy, and his exemplary life of dedication to Wabash.  “John was a tireless worker,” remembers Kathleen, “he was always very busy every minute, not only in work, having established the Daywalt Pharmacy in 1964, but also in significant community organizations.” Mr. Daywalt was a member and past president of the Wabash Area Chamber of Commerce and in 1978 was named Wabash Chamber Retailer of the Year. He served as a member and president of the Wabash City School Board, and a member of the Wabash City Council.  In addition, John provided his time and wisdom to two city churches, -- the Wabash Church of Christ and the Wabash Christian Church, where he served as deacon.  Daywalt was also a member of the Hanna Masonic Lodge #61, Fort Wayne Scottish Rite and Mizpah Shrine, the Wabash Shrine Club, and the American Legion Post 15.

“We are very pleased to establish the endowment for this planned gift,” said Patty Grant, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Wabash County.  “We understand that the expensiveness of the doctorate program in pharmacy is prohibitive to many qualified students.  It has been a pleasure to work with Kathleen and her attorney to accomplish her charitable goals—to help deserving students and remember her husband’s life’s work.”

According to David McFadden, Manchester University Executive Vice President and Dean of the College of Pharmacy “Colleges of pharmacy offer little if any institutional financial aid for their doctorate program, and other undergraduate institutional financial aid packages are forfeited when accepted into the Pharm.D. program. A pharmacy education today easily exceeds $100,000 for four years and sometimes much more.  Every scholarship a student receives helps reduce the number of hours they work to pay for school or their need to take out student loans.  Every dollar matters.”

Patty adds, “With this endowment, Mrs. Daywalt has smartly and strategically planned a future gift which not only remembers a significant life but also changes another by providing financial support when it is most needed and otherwise least available.  We are grateful to work with such a generous and forward thinking person.”

“I am pleased to establish this endowment,” says Kathleen. “John loved his work, his family, his 2 children, and his community.  Hopefully through their careers in pharmacy, awardees of the John W. Daywalt Scholarship will, like John, work hard, enjoy people, and contribute to the civic life of their communities.”

Others who wish to remember John W. Daywalt and provide support to worthy students pursuing a doctorate of pharmacy can contribute to the scholarship endowment. Contributions can be received by the Community Foundation of Wabash County, located at 218 East Main Street, North Manchester, 46962.  Students interested in applying for the scholarship are encouraged to contact the Community Foundation upon graduation from high school.  The scholarship will be funded by the estate of Kathleen Daywalt.

For further information about the scholarship endowments of the Community Foundation please contact Julie Garber, Program Director at the Community Foundation of Wabash County, 260-982-4824.

Posted on 2013 Dec 03