Endowed Education Fund Honors Parents’ Love of ‘Ding’ Darling

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Helen and William Kronmueller loved walking Sanibel’s beaches. Photo provided

Nancy Minster and Diane Husk have established the William & Helen Kronmueller Education Fund to honor the memory of their parents and support educational programs at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.
Married in 1954, the Kronmuellers lived and worked in St. Louis, Mo., where they led a quiet life that included summer vacations to new and exciting places within the U.S. They continued to visit the Fort Myers and Sanibel Island area into their retirement years.

“The natural beauty and quiet pace allowed them to enjoy beach walks and wildlife sightings, especially within the refuge,” their daughters told “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) when they established the fund with the refuge’s nonprofit arm.

After William’s death, Helen continued to visit the refuge with Husk. She last visited in December 2019 at age 92, and especially loved spotting birds and alligators.

“They believed that one should never stop learning; that learning should continue throughout life,” said Husk. “They would be thrilled that a fund was established in their honor, knowing that support for the things they learned to love in nature will remain for future generations – inspiring children and future conservation stewards to learn more about birds, other wildlife, and their habitats.”

“An endowed education fund will continue to keep the Kronmueller’s legacy alive by supporting conservation education programs at the refuge and inspiring our future stewards to embrace a community and value our natural spaces like they did,” said DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller. “We are so thankful to their family for this support. What a thoughtful way to remember loved ones.”

Refuge donors are able to establish named endowed funds for $10,000 or more and work with DDWS staff to designate them for their areas of interest or leave them as unrestricted. The endowments can fund individual projects or ongoing education, intern, programming, research, or other specific needs. To establish an endowed fund, contact Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 232. Visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/endowed-funds for more information.

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits. To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

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