Legacy Features


Paul and Patricia Brewer

Paul and Patricia Brewer grew up in families of modest means, Paul on a dairy farm in West Branch and Patricia in Davison. They both worked hard in school and became the valedictorians of their graduating classes. That achievement earned them four-year tuition scholarships to Michigan Technological University, where they met. They each received degrees in Mechanical Engineering and left school debt-free.

The Brewers moved to the Boyne City area in 1997. They love the small town feeling and sense of community in the area, the friendly people, and the natural beauty of the region.  Since then, the Brewers have given to their community by volunteering their time and talents to help local organizations.  Patricia was very involved in a nonprofit that helped local children, they were a foster family for three years, they dedicated four years to the FIRST Robotics program at BCHS, and Patricia did a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America) at Char-Em United Way. They have also volunteered for other school and community projects and have more recently focused their involvement on the historical education efforts of the Northern Michigan Antique-Flywheelers Club, where Patricia heads the museum and serves as the board secretary.

“It is important to make a positive impact on our community,” says Patricia. “We give more of our time than our money now because it connects us to the community and we get a greater feeling of making progress toward a better future.”

The Brewers feel that the financial help they received through scholarships made a significant impact in their lives.  They want to pass that opportunity on to others. “We can all make a difference to help provide opportunities to others,” Paul explains. The Brewers believe the Charlevoix County Community Foundation is well positioned to administer the scholarship they will establish through their estate plan and achieve their goal of helping others get an education without significant debt. With their gift, the Brewers hope to pay forward the home town impact that others provided to them. 


Learn more about how to leave a legacy and joining the Legacy Society.




The Community Foundation has received many estate gifts that move the community forward for a brighter future. Here we remember our special friends who have passed away, but whose legacies live on. For good. For ever. 


Ethel Coeling

After graduating from Michigan State University, Ethel obtained her physical therapy certificate from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 1942. She served as a physical therapist around the United States and in Germany until she retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1967.  During this time she made many weekend visits to her favorite spot, "The Back of the Moon", her cottage in Norwood on the shore of Lake Michigan.  A second career led her to the Marshall Islands, where she worked for the Government of the Trust Territory of the United States.  Ethel worked on the island of Majuro in the Pacific for 18 years, where many of her patients were young native children.

When she retired with honors from the Trust Territory in 1984, Ethel enjoyed life at her cherished cottage in northern Michigan.  She engaged with the community through volunteer work, hiking, reading, and painting.  She began making a difference closer to home through the Community Foundation.  "There are so many local programs worthy of support," Ethel said, "and the Community Foundation offers so many options." Ethel decided to establish a donor advised fund; the Community Foundation helped with the transfer of appreciated stock and handled all the paperwork.  When Ethel passed away in 2003, her estate established funds to support the environment, Charlevoix Library, Ellsworth Schools, and the Charlevoix Area Community Pool.

Of particular significance is the Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund.  Ethel's estate gift has allowed for the Community Foundation to make grants that have restored, preserved, and protected this beautiful corner of the world.  Learn more about what has been accomplished thanks to the Ethel W. Coeling Environmental Fund.

Ethel's legacy lives on when her funds continue to support the aspects of community that she loved most during her lifetime.




What will your legacy be?

The Community Foundation is here to partner with you to make a difference close to home.