A Gift for Generations…
A HUSBAND’S TRIBUTE
By Tim Tibbitts, Freelance Writer
In her life, Madge Ayers (Mussey) Bilka,
MN ’43, was a kindly, good-natured woman,
and her education at the Frances Payne
Bolton School of Nursing amplified her
natural compassion and sharpened her
tools for acting on that compassion.
Her widower, Dr. Paul Bilka, says his wife, who died in
1993, saw nursing as a “desirable, important profession,”
and that even though she did not practice professionally
for very long, her work as a volunteer and then as President
of the Minneapolis Visiting Nurses Association gave
her opportunities to use her compassion and her
education to make the world a better place.
In recognition of the influence FPB had on her life, before
her death Mrs. Bilka began making contributions to FPB.
To honor her memory, her husband has expanded on that
generosity through a series of generous charitable gift
annuities to FPB.
14 The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Case Western Reserve University
“Even though she wasn’t in need of scholarship assistance
when she was a student, I felt this is something I wanted
to support, so that competent individuals who couldn’t
afford higher education [otherwise] could afford it,”
explains Dr. Bilka, who at age 86 stills works part time
on staff at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Minneapolis,
where he teaches residents and fellows in rheumatology.
“As a physician, I have a tremendous
respect for nurses and want to support
them in every way possible.”
Dr. Bilka sees a charitable gift annuity
(see box at right) as a means of giving
and receiving at the same time. The
vehicle allows Dr. Bilka both to make
generous contributions to the School
and to receive a fixed rate of return.
“I frankly think it’s one of the wisest
financial moves a person can make who
has any interest beyond accumulating
numbers in his or her actuarial accounts,”
says Dr. Bilka. “You get income and
do good at the same time.”
Beyond gifts of a purely financial
nature, Mr. Bilka has also promised a very personal gift
to FPB. In addition to being a loving wife and an
effective volunteer, Mrs. Bilka found time to pursue
another passion—art, and in his will Dr. Bilka has
promised to FPB one of his wife’s favorite sculptures.
“It is undoubtedly her best piece,” he says.
The gift will also undoubtedly solidify the
connection between this compassionate
alumna and her alma mater.
A Charitable Gift Annuity…
A charitable gift annuity allows
you, the donor, to switch from
highly appreciated, lowdividend
savings to a higher yielding
annuity which pays income
back in a plan that you
establish. This gift vehicle
is easy to establish, and it
provides donors with a
guaranteed annual income
that often far exceeds the
return rates of noncharitable
investments. In addition, by
transferring funds, you can
take an immediate tax
deduction. Then, upon your
death, your legacy will live
on, since the School of
Nursing will receive the
remainder of the funds
in the account.
Facing page: Dr. Paul Bilka looks
at the composite photo of his
wife’s graduating class in the halls
of the School of Nursing.
Left: Madge Ayers Bilka’s untitled
sculpture depicts the healing
The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Case Western Reserve University 15