Gwinn couple leaves $1.6M to Gwinn schools, UPAWS

GWINN – Ruth and Philip Spade, who passed away in 2013 and 2014 respectively, have left their entire estate to two causes close to their hearts.

They established a scholarship fund of $800,000 for graduates of Gwinn Area Community Schools from the Philip A. Spade and Ruth M. Spade Trust.

The same trust leaves $800,000 to the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, which will assist in the Marquette County Humane Society’s campaign to build a new animal shelter.

The scholarship will be presented to representatives of Gwinn schools at the Marquette County Community Foundation office in the Range Bank building on McClellan Avenue in Marquette at 1 p.m. Thursday. At 2 p.m. Thursday, a check will be presented to representatives from UPAWS at the animal shelter in Negaunee.

The Spades, who formed the trust in 2004, were residents of Gwinn most of their lives. Philip was a U.S. Air Force veteran who taught science at Gwinn Middle School for 26 years. Ruth was an elementary school teacher and district reading specialist. She served as principal at K.I. Sawyer and George D. Gilbert elementary schools until her retirement in 1993.

In retirement, the Spades remained active in the Gwinn community. Ruth served on the Gwinn school board, the Forsyth Township Public Library board and the Forsyth Township Historical Society, among other organizations. Philip was an outdoorsman, a skilled carpenter and a pilot who built his own airplanes.

The Spades were married almost 56 years.

For more information on this story, read Wednesday’s edition of The Mining Journal.