Woman leaves Methodist church $475,000 as thank-you for loan

Posted: Friday, July 09, 2004

RAVENNA, Ohio (AP) When Elizabeth Dietrich was about a year old she was stricken with polio. A Methodist congregation lent her parents money for experimental surgery that enabled her to walk with crutches.

In return, Dietrich, who died in January at age 93, has left the congregation $475,000, said attorney Stephen Wilson, executor of her estate. He said her wealth came from careful spending and saving.

The Rev. Tom Poremba, pastor of what is now First United Methodist Church, said the congregation was surprised and hasn't decided how to use the gift.

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