The Scioto Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Roberta E. Larrick Fund, created by Dr. Leeann Denning in memory of her aunt. Annual distributions from the Larrick Fund will benefit Hill View Retirement Center’s Memorial Fund and Eden Fund inequal amounts.
Hill View’s Memorial Fund, which provides a means for residents, families and friends to give gifts in memory of a deceased resident, is used primarily for memorial flowers. The EdenFund is used for the beautification of the Hill View grounds through the purchase of trees, bushes, flowers and other plants. It is also used for Wesley Village projects such as supplies for intergenerational programs or decorating needs.
“My aunt was an intelligent, independent, strong woman. She encouraged everyone in our family to achieve everything they dreamed and let nothing hold you back. She certainly lived her life that way and the memorial fund will be an ongoing legacy to her life, her love of family, friends and all things that bloom and flourish,” said
Dr. Denning. Roberta Evans Larrick was born in 1925, the first child of her parents, Clarence and Wilma Evans. The tiny baby girl was born at home in the southern Ohio Appalachian county of Scioto. No birth defect was mentioned at the time of her birth, but it was evident that there was a problem when she began to walk. At first it was thought that corrective shoes would be the answer to her problem, but her growth was minimal and it became apparent that something was wrong with her hip.
By 1931 when she started school, there were four brothers in her family and money was scarce as the financial crisis in the United States struck Ohio families. Her father was out of work and her grandparents had moved into the household. In their rural setting, the family of nine depended on their garden for all their food.
The stressed conditions of the family and four raucous brothers meant that Roberta was not afforded any sympathy or allowed to use her halting gait for an excuse. However by 1935 she was still very small, weighing approximately 55 pounds, and her disability was becoming a serious problem, so her parents decided something must be done.
A local doctor advised them to take her to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Leaving her brothers, now five in number, with grandparents, they made the 3 ½ hour trip. Roberta was evaluated and admitted to the hospital. Her mother was pregnant and with money for gas, but none for food or lodging, her parents stayed for two days sleeping in the car, but were forced to return home, leaving her in the hospital’s care.
After doctors at Children’s Hospital found that the problem was from the spine, causing a misalignment of her hip and knee, they made the necessary corrections and Roberta was confined in a body cast for six months.
She continued her education with a tutor provided by her school and in 1944, weighing 72 pounds and having grown to 4.08 feet in height, still with a slight limp, she finished business classes. After graduation she was hired into the typist pool at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
Never acknowledging her disability, she continued to find job opportunities and invested the money she saved. Roberta was married to Bernard Larrick in 1954 and the couple resided in Dayton. She became a military supply officer with the highest security clearance and when she retired at age 55, her Civil Service rating was equivalent to the rating of an Air Force
Colonel. Throughout her life she struggled to be normal and good financial decisions made it possible for her to repay the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with a substantial monetary bequest for the improvements it had made to her life. Donations
to the Roberta E. Larrick Fund may be made by friends, family and supporters in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property at any time. Further information about other planned giving opportunities may be obtained by contacting Scioto Foundation Executive Director Kim Cutlip or Donor Services Program Officer Patty Tennant at the Scioto Foundation office, (740) 354-4612 or by visiting the SF website at www.sciotofoundation.org.