If you have lived in Gaylord for any length of time, you may have crossed paths with Mary Seger. Mary moved to Gaylord forty years ago as a young RN to start her career at Otsego Memorial Hospital. After returning to school for an advanced degree, Mary has served this community for the last 30 years as a Nurse Practitioner and will retire at the end of March.  

Small towns and healthcare are in Mary’s blood. She is the daughter of the town physician in Lake City and reaped the benefits of growing up in a town where everyone took care of each other. “We were well-watched over,” Mary says. She always felt safe, knew everybody in town, and knew anything she did would get back to her parents. Her childhood was, in many ways, idyllic. “We took care of each other,” she says. 

Mary took a comprehensive approach to her patients’ health and well-being. She was the kind of healthcare provider who once called a patient’s bank to negotiate an extension on a mortgage payment so the patient did not have to return to work too soon after surgery. The small-town ideal of “taking care of each other” permeated her practice.  

Seeing her patients’ challenges on top of their medical conditions motivated Mary to get involved with the Otsego Community Foundation.  

Mary became a member of the OCF Legacy Society in 2020 after seeing an ad in Science of the Mind magazine urging readers to become a legacy member of that organization. Mary answered the ad, became a legacy member, and thought, “What else can I do?” Her next call was to OCF Executive Director Dana Bensinger.  

Mary was aware of the OCF and its impact on Otsego County and was excited to know she could make a legacy gift. She has designated three beneficiaries: the Ron Chavy Friendship Fund, the TACKLE Fund, and the Otsego County Food Pantry Backpack Program. Ron was Mary’s Ski Patrol director at the Otsego Club, and it warms her heart to know that money from this fund goes toward meeting basic needs. Walking beside a dear friend as she battled breast cancer and seeing the support she received from TACKLE made her decision to include this fund clear. Mary was confronted with the challenges her Otsego County neighbors faced in her career, including hunger. “We have hungry kids in our community. We need to feed our community,” says Mary. The Otsego County Food Pantry Backpack Program was a clear choice for her. 

For anyone who is considering becoming a member of the OCF Legacy Society, Mary wants to emphasize that you don’t have to be a millionaire or billionaire to make an impact with a legacy gift. Anyone can make an impact. “Why would you not do this?” she asks. “The money stays local, and your donation will go farther in a community this size. You can give something,” Mary says. “And it will help someone. Even if you help one person, it’s worth it. Your gift can make a big difference in someone’s life.”  

To learn more about making a legacy gift to the OCF, please visit our website or contact Dana Bensinger at 989-731-0597 or Dana@otsegofoundation.org When you remember the community foundation in your estate plan, you decide to support your charitable goals for years to come.