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Montevideo to celebrate major veterans home donation from late veteran's estate

Courtesy photos The family of the late Steve Williams, shown here in photos shared by his brother, will make a major donation to the Montevideo Veterans Home. Details will be announced next week.

MONTEVIDEO — A major donation from the family of a late Vietnam veteran is helping make possible the Montevideo Veterans Home, and will be the cause for a special celebration on Dec. 5.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and the city of Montevideo will announce the major gift from the family of the late Steve Williams at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the American Legion Club in Montevideo. Jim Williams, his surviving brother, will join them to announce the details of the gift.

"This is God working in a mysterious way,'' said Jim Williams of his late brother's donation. Jim said he had mentioned the effort in Montevideo for a veterans home to his brother months ago when his late brother was in the process of developing a trust fund.

Before Steve Williams died unexpectedly, Jim Williams said his brother had set aside his entire estate to the trust fund with instructions to donate the proceeds to a variety of charitable organizations, five of them serving veterans.

Steve Williams' death came as he was in the process of amending the trust to include the Montevideo Veterans Home as a beneficiary. Family members conferred with the five veterans groups, and an agreement was reached with them to make possible the donation that will be announced Wednesday.

Jim Williams said his late brother had been a frugal man and had invested wisely. He had been married only briefly. The surviving family is hoping to make possible the trust fund donations to all of the organizations chosen by Steve Williams before the year's end, with the Montevideo Veterans Home project being the first to be named, said Jim.

"Very exciting,'' said Marv Garbe, of the Montevideo Veterans Home Committee, of the donation.

Along with the announcement, the community meeting next week will include a presentation from the Wold/Perkins/Eastman Architectural Firm highlighting the preliminary design concepts for the Montevideo Veterans Home. The 72-bed home will be developed on a 13.5-acre site at the intersection of William Avenue and Chippewa County Road 15.

Steve Williams died March 14 in Nevada at age 70. He was a 1966 graduate of Clarkfield High School. He was drafted into the Army in 1968 and served in the Mekong Delta, earning a bronze star. He returned home to earn a degree in marketing from Southwest State University and enjoyed a career with Hormel Foods that led him to live in Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Huntington Beach and Seattle, according to his obituary.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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