Elliott Kepler and Alice Mae Degler Smith Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Field of Interest               DATE ESTABLISHED:  Dec. 7, 1991 

PURPOSE:  General charitable purposes.  As requested by Mr. and Mrs. Smith, organizations favored to receive funding from this endowment are:

  • Salvation Army:  Easter Fund, Summer Camp for children, Contributions for school in fall, and/or Annual Christmas Fund
  • 4-H Camp:  one boy and one girl to summer camp
  • YMCA Camp Horseshoe:  One boy and one girl to summer Leadership Camp
  • YMCA camp Horseshoe Annual Fund drive and/or Building Fund
  • Scholarships to Tucker County High School graduating seniors to attend a trade school; to major in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, medical major; primary or                    secondary education teaching fields.
  • Tucker County Emergency Squads
  • Parsons Library Fund
  • West Virginia Public radio
  • West Virginia Pubic TV
  • Any general charitable contributions recommended by the board of directors and approved by the board, for the benefit of Tucker County.

DISTRIBUTION:  Upon the recommendation by the Grants or Scholarship Committee and approval by the full Board of Directors of TCF. 

VARIANCE POWER:  If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund.

FUNDING:  $5,000 from Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Smith  

BACKGROUND:  Elliott Kepler Smith and Alice Mae Degler Smith were active in the Tucker Community Endowment Foundation from the start.  He was a charter member of the TCF Board of Directors.  This fund (the Elliott Kepler and Alice Mae Degler Smith Fund of TC    F) was one of the first Foundation funds established.

Elliott Kepler, or “Kep” as most knew him, was a retired Navy Captain.  He was born July 28, 1914 at Red Creek.  He attended Saplin Ridge – Mt. View School during his first years of education.  He graduated from Parsons Graded School, and Parsons High School with the class of 1933.  He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Kent State University.

He served with the US Navy for 30 years during which time he engaged in Operation Deep Freeze and served tours of duty in both the Artic and Antarctic with Adm. Richard E. Byrd, taking part in many military operations around the world.  He was captain of the ship, USS Point Barrow that participated in atomic testing at Johnson Island in the Pacific.  He married Alice Mae Degler on April 1, 1960.  Upon retirement, he returned to his home county to become part of the community.  Mr. Smith passed away at his home in Parsons on July 29, 1998.

Alice Mae Degler Smith was reared by her grandparents in Hambleton, WV.  She was a 1936 graduate of Parsons High School and earned a BS degree from Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, WV and an MBA from Kent State University.  She was the first clerk for the Monongahela Power Company in Parsons, WV.  For several years she taught school in Mahoning County, Ohio.  She also taught part time at Mount Union College.  She served 38 months on active duty with the U.S. Women Marines during World War II, and was discharged with the rank of Technical Sergeant.  She died July 23, 2006 at Colonial Place in Elkins.