Winifred and Arthur Fromherz had a soft spot in their hearts for young mothers and their babies, so they made sure their commitment to supporting Father Taaffe Homes would continue after their passing. Arthur passed away in 2004 and Winifred passed away in 2017. Family members met with Executive Director Jim Seymour recently to present a legacy gift from their parents to Father Taaffe Homes and Pregnancy Support Services. They gave equally to each of their 12 children, Father Taaffe Homes and Regis High School.
Their gift to Father Taaffe Homes extends their love for family to the young families in crisis served by the program every day.
“For a couple who met and married right after the war, they didn’t have much,” said their son Russ Fromherz. “Both were proud to have been able to pass something on to their children and to charity.”
The couple married on February 17, 1946. They raised their large family in Shaw and West Stayton, Oregon, where Arthur spent his early career as a construction worker and later as a sandblasting specialist. Winifred and Arthur came to know Father Taaffe as their priest at St. Mary Parish in Shaw, where they attended church. They spoke often about Father Taaffe’s vision of helping young moms in crisis say yes to life by offering them a stable, nurturing home in which to live and learn to care for their children. They encouraged their own children to help. Through the years, the family came together to help support Father Taaffe Homes. One daughter, Mary Holt, chaired many dinners and auctions to help raise funds for the ministry.
“I think Mom related because she was a young mom herself. She was 19 when our oldest brother was born in 1947,” said Mary. “Mom only had a high school education and dad went off to WWII and didn’t graduate from high school. I’m sure many young moms at the Father Taaffe Homes experience this lack of education. Education was very important to Mom and Dad. All 12 of us graduated from high school, five of us have graduated from college, and six have served in the military.
“I think the fact the girls had to be going to school or working was huge for my parents,” said Mary. “Their message to us and to these young moms was always, ‘Anything is possible, if you have the desire to move forward.'”
“It was an honor to meet with the family,” said Jim Seymour. “I was inspired to hear the story of Arthur and Winifred’s 58 years of marriage, their life of service and love for their community and their children. We are deeply grateful for the compassion they have shown to young moms in crisis and their babies through their generous gift from the Fromherz Living Trust.”
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