A Couple's Caring Contribution
Lurlene Kyles is a strong woman with a big heart and a genuine caring nature that comes naturally after raising six children and working as a nurse for 35 years. In keeping with her caring ways, she and her husband Bill Gasner have decided to leave a charitable bequest to United Way of Miami-Dade in their estate plans. Gifts like theirs will help United Way do what none of us can do alone, in perpetuity — improve people's lives and make a lasting, positive impact in our community.
Doing good things for others is a way of life for this couple. Before moving to Miami, in 1958, Lurlene lived in Alabama and Atlanta, where she was very involved with her community through church activities. Also, her job as a nurse lent itself to helping children and elderly both on and off the job — wherever she was. Even the Florida Marlins recognized Lurlene's natural ability to care for others; when they were formed in the early '90s, Lurlene was one of the first employees they hired. No, she wasn't in the outfield or up at bat; she was in charge of the nursery for the players' children.
Lurlene instilled the values of service and giving in her own children and 17 grandchildren. Many of them have chosen service-related careers, and all of them are involved with churches where they live. These days, Lurlene continues to be active with her church.
Bill is loyal to his roots; he puts many of his efforts into supporting the people and places that influenced his life. Bill grew up in Brooklyn, attended Cornell University and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He later became a corporate executive with Levitt & Sons in New York. Bill moved to Miami in 1971 only to find bigger and better causes worthy of his time. That's not to say the communities he left behind were forgotten; on the contrary — he still supports his alma mater, in addition to other educational institutions and health and human service agencies.
The depth of Lurlene and Bill's affection for one another is immediately evident to anyone who meets them. While the depth of their caring for humankind may not be as apparent, it is certainly a large part of who they both are. Bill describes his wife as the kind of woman who "gets things done before [he] even [knows] they have to be done."
It's because of people like Lurlene and Bill, who understand that United Way focuses on the whole community and provides help where it's needed most, that we are able to make changes for the better. Bill and Lurlene have created a legacy in choosing to endow a gift to United Way. Should you choose to follow suit, you, too, can create a United Way legacy of caring that will always be remembered.