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Fort Macleod couple creates annual gift for library

Maxiene and Ray Bodgener left a designated bequest to the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta to create an annual gift for the Fort Macleod Library.

A Fort Macleod couple has created an annual gift for the Town of Fort Macleod Library.
Ray and Maxiene Bodgener left a designated bequest to the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta.
The community foundation works endowments, which means the initial gift is invested in perpetuity, while the investment income earned goes back into the community as annual grants.
This makes the Bodgeners’ gift a permanent source of financial support for the Fort Macleod Library.
“The funds the library receives through Ray and Maxiene’s bequest, will change both the library and, through it, the lives of the people who use its services,” library board chair Jan Walker said in a news release.
Ray and Maxiene Bodgener were both Alberta pioneers.
Ray Bodgener was born in Bashaw and Maxiene south of Fort Macleod in the McBride area.
Maxiene’s family are associated with the Monarch Stopping House.
Tragedy struck Maxiene as a toddler — her mother died of rheumatic fever. Aunt Alice Long helped raise Maxiene, and being a teacher, may have planted that idea in Maxiene.
Maxiene received her Master’s degree in Home Economics from the University of Alberta and taught in Fort Macleod and district for decades.
Maxiene took up weaving when she retired and became a fixture at the Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade craft show. Her daughter Robin is also weaving in her retirement and aptly calls her business “Maxiene’s Fibres” as she works her way through the huge collection of yarn Maxiene left.
Although Ray didn’t have the opportunity for a formal post-secondary education, he loved books and was an avid reader.
After the Bodgeners sold the farm and moved to town, Ray travelled the world with a cousin, and after Maxiene retired, they spent many winters in Australia — where people “almost” spoke the same language.
Ray also worked for The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police where he was famous for mowing the roof of the sod house.
Daughter Robin also has the travel bug. She made her first journey to Europe at age 12, with aunt Alice Long.
The library board is using money from bequests and donations to help cover the costs of programming.
“The library board and staff are proud of all the increased and expanded services the library is now able to offer,” Walker said. “We wouldn’t be able to do much of this without the forethought and generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Bodgener. We’re touched and honoured by their gift.”
If you are interested in supporting the library in this way, you can add to the Bodgeners’ fund at the community foundation. Your gift is eligible for a tax receipt and you will see the benefit of your gift at work in Fort Macleod.
Established in 1966, the community foundation is a Canada Revenue Agency registered charity. The foundation supported Southwestern Alberta with more than $850,000.00 in grants in 2018.

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