The Milton Freewater Area Foundation would be nothing without its donors.  We exist because of the generosity of community members who want to leave a legacy and who wish to see the continued growth and success of those who come after them.  We are here as stewards of these thoughtful gifts and we promise to work diligently and faithfully to ensure the perpetuity of this Foundation, while at the same time granting financial support to those causes that better our community and the future of our children. Continued donations are key to this goal.  To inquire about how you can donate to the MF Area Foundation, contact us at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can also donate through our website.  Just click on "Donate Online" at the bottom of the page.

Read more about our past and current donors here.....

Joyce and Duane Plyter were lifelong educators in Milton Freewater. They each
prepared to teach High School, but after discovering that seventh and eighth graders
were amazing, they settled in at Central Middle School. Duane taught Social Studies,
History, Math and Technology. Joyce specialized in hands-on, inquiry based, and
technology enhanced Science and Math. Duane taught for 36 years at Central School
and Joyce taught for 51 years at Central after teaching her first two years at Riley
County High School in Kansas.
Duane introduced technology to students starting with one Apple II computer. Over the years he helped acquire more computers and both he and Joyce integrated technology into all of their teaching. They also were instrumental in getting computers for every teacher in the school district. In time, there were laptops, cameras and microscopes for Science students and Chromebooks for everyone. Photography became an integral part of Joyce’s Science classes and proved to be especially beneficial when students were kept at home due to COVID.
A special hobby of the Plyters was to follow the remaining ruts of the Oregon Trail a little at a time from Oregon to Missouri and back, multiple times. It helped that Joyce was from Kansas and Duane was from Oregon.
One of Joyce’s favorite mottos is: Science is Life. Life is Science. Explore!

Vesta 2 Bascam2 Vesta Mamie Bascom was born March 17th, 1919 in Arkansas.
After marrying her husband Ferl, they relocated to Milton-Freewater Oregon in the mid-1950s where Ferl was employed as a saw mill worker. They purchased a home and orchard on Cobb Road. The couple enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, and hunting in the Pacific Northwest. They created an apiary and rented out beehives to orchards throughout the valley.
After her husband passed away in the mid 1970’s, Vesta continued to run the family farm and apiary. She led an active life. She continued to hunt, fish and mush-room hunt until her sudden death on February 28, 2008 at the age of 88. Her bequest, entrusted with the Milton-Freewater Area Foundation, is to be used to aid students obtain a college education. The scholarship shall be awarded to graduates of an Oregon State High School or homeschool. The school must be situated in any County East of the summit of the Cascade Mountains.
Edwin Hart Coe4 Edwin Hart Coe was born July 29, 1909 in Milton, Oregon. He was a true native son. of the Milton Freewater area. He was the great grandson of W.S. Frazier, the founding father of the town of Milton. His maternal great grandfather, Horace Hart, was at the Spaulding Mission at Lapwaii, now Idaho, at the time of the Whitman Mission massacre. Edwin attended Mcloughlin High School in the mid 1920’s.
Edwin Coe married Bernice on January 3, 1933. They raised two daughters and a son. He shared ownership and worked in a feed store in Freewater with his dad and brother. He was an enthusiastic supporter of all school activities, especially FFA, track and football events, as well as Mac-Hi musicals and Honor Society functions in which his children participated. He was a part of a loyal band of community supporters who gathered at a local café for breakfast. This group became known as “The Booster Club”.  Though generous in his praise for high academic achievement, Edwin was always very inspired by the student who wanted to go on to college, not because of a high GPA, but because of a strong work ethic. A student who had the ability to set a goal that was beyond that of his home, to get on track even if he was a late bloomer. Edwin passed away May 9, 1960. This scholarship was established by his estate to help a male graduate of Mac-Hi who will be attending State College in Oregon.
Lela and Earl Frazier4 Lela was born July 27, 1887 and Earl was born January 2, 1889 to Frances and William Hardee Frazier. They were the grandchildren of W.S. Frazier, the founding father of Milton, Oregon. They were raised in the house at 1403 Chestnut St, now known as the Frazier Farmstead Museum. Both attended local schools. Earl was a cattleman and a farmer. Lela worked at the Milton Post Office in the early 1920's and also assisted her parents and brother in the family cattle and farming business. The family was one of the largest land owners in eastern Oregon. 
Both brother and sister resided in the family home on Chestnut St until their death. Earl passed away September 3, 1978 at the age of 89. Lela passed away December 19, 1983 at the age of 95. Through the years, Lela kept the home at 1403 Chestnut St. in beautiful condition, protecting and caring for the Victorian treasures and furnishings of her parents and grandparents. At her death, she left her estate to the Milton Freewater Area Foundation, with a request that if it were possible, she wanted the property to become a museum. Its purpose would be to house memories and artifacts of the early pioneers of the Walla Walla Valley. Pursuant with her wishes, the property was allocated to the Milton Freewater Historical Society. The Frazier Farmstead Museum was opened to the public in 1984. And in 1985, the museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In her will, Lela also requested a scholarship to be established in Earl and her name. It is administered by the Milton Freewater Area Foundation.
John O Hendricks2 John O. Hendricks was born June 9, 1926 in Pendleton, Oregon . He grew up in Pendleton, graduating from PHS in 1943. He served with the US Navy in the Philippines at the end of World War II. He attended Eastern Oregon College in LaGrande, OR, graduating in 1947, with a degree in food science.
Mr. Hendricks married Fran on June 24, 1950. The couple lived in Santa Cruz, CA, where he was employed by Birdseye, a food processing company. In 1960, they moved to Walla Walla, where he took a job with Lamb-Weston, also a food processing company. He and his family later moved to Milton Freewater. In 1975, John started his own food processing company known as “Watermill Foods.” John and Fran raised four daughters and a son. They were both involved in civic and school related activities. John was named Man of the Year in 1989 by the Milton Freewater Chamber of Commerce. He served on the McLoughlin High School board of Directors in the early 1970’s.He enjoyed golf, electronics, sports and spending time at his cabin at Langdon Lake in the Blue Mountains.John Hendricks passed away on November 11, 1993. This scholarship was established in his name by his family and is administered by the Milton Freewater Area Foundation.
Nathan Jay scholarship donorJuanita Jay scholarship donor Nathan Jay was born during World War II in Bremerton, WA, on December 23, 1944. He would later succumb to heart disease relatively young on November 29th, 1995, just shortly before his 51st birthday. He was a graduate of Mac-Hi in 1963 and was an honor student during his two years at the school. He started high school in the small community of Umapine, OR, and then transferred to Mac-Hi when his family moved to Milton Freewater.
Nathan served in the Oregon National Guard and was a heavy equipment operator. He was very proud of his guard duties and also spent a number of years working in the union headquarters in Portland. He never married, nor did he have any children. He left his mother, Juanita Hope Jay, a financial legacy at the time of his death. She then had the financial benefit of those funds until her own death on June 27, 1997.
Mrs. Juanita Jay was born on October 8th, 1913 in Milton Freewater. She was the daughter of Henry Gustav and Anna Jeannette Laurence Beckius. Juanita attended Mac-Hi during the depression years of the 1930’s. She graduated with the class of 1933. Like many other students during this time in history, Juanita had to go to work for her own needs and those of her extended family as well. Unlike her older sisters, she was unable to go on and get additional education or training. She was always regretful about this fact. In 1937, Juanita married Orville “Elmo” Jay on New Year’s Eve in Walla Walla, WA. Mr. and Mrs. Jay would have four sons; Steve, Nathan, John and Christopher and she was a proud homemaker until her husband’s death in 1968. Fairly late in life, she got her Oregon driver’s license and set off to work in the area canneries and fruit packing houses to earn her own way. She became a very independent woman who liked making her own decisions. This scholarship is a decision that was very near and dear to her heart.
Juanita often mentioned that she wanted to do something special with the proceeds of Nathan’s funds left to her at his passing. She wished to support Mac-Hi graduates who struggled with furthering their education beyond high school.
Respecting those wishes, the scholarship was established through the Milton Freewater Area Foundation to do just as she had long wished. It is with this goal in mind that the Nathan Allen Jay and Juanita Hope Jay Scholarship exists today.
Pat Murphy3 Pat Murphy was born to James H. and Bernice Hazel Murphy on January 29, 1937. He was an ambitious young person raised on the family farm located on Winesap Road in Milton Freewater, OR. He was their only child and the pride of his parents. He helped his parents take care of the farm. As a result, he developed a keen interest in farming and raising animals. Pat was an outstanding student at Mac-Hi in the early 1950’s. He was involved in many school and community activities. He was a member of the FFA and the National Honor Society. He played saxophone in the high school band and played in a swing band at many local gatherings. He also played on the football and basketball teams. On Sept. 4, 1953, 16 year old Pat was fatally injured in a car accident on his way to the Walla Walla Fair to care for his award winning pigs.
James and Bernice Murphy were outstanding agriculturists in the community. Jim not only raised fruit and farm animals, but he was an excellent craftsman and sheet metal worker. Bernice excelled in horticultural activities. She grew many flowers and plants in her greenhouse and received an award from the Blue Mountain Horticultural Society. She also worked many years in the local fruit packing house.
Bernice passed away in December of 1983. After James’s passing in 1998, the Murphy estate established a scholarship in remembrance of their son, Pat. This scholarship is administered by the Milton Freewater Area Foundation.
Bert and Rose Peschiallo The G.B. Pesciallo Memorial Agricultural Scholarship was established by Bert and Rose Pesciallo, in honor of Bert's father, to further young people's education in agriculture. G.B. Pesciallo came to Oregon in the early 1900's from a tiny village in Northern Italy. He carried with him the hope of a better life and some Italian grape vines that he freely shared with other Italians in the Walla Walla area. Those vines later became the basis of Bert's Blue Mountain Vineyard and Winery, one of the first registered wineries in Oregon and the Walla Walla Valley.
G.B. indentured himself to a rancher in eastern Oregon to earn money. He then purchased 40 acres of rocky ground located between Freewater and Umapine and hand dug his well. With his wife, Elivia and six children, he raised grapes, Italian prunes, apples, cherries, cantaloupe, and various vegetables.
G.B loved being a farmer and instilled the lifelong love of farming in his sons, Bert and John. Both sons farmed their share of the "home place" well into their eighties. The century old farm is a part of the newly designated Rocks District and remains operational today.
Today's farmers must learn and use new and better farming practices as well as time -tested ones. To aid in the success of young farmers who love farming as much as the Pesciallo family, Bert established this scholarship at McLaughlin Union High School in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
Grady Allen Phillips The Grady and Elizabeth Phillips Scholarship Fund was established for Mac-Hi graduates with at least at 3.5 GPA, who will be majoring in Nursing or Biology at either Walla Walla Community College or Blue Mtn. Community College. Grady Phillips was born in 1907 in Texas.  He left home when he was 14 to work on farms and eventually ended up in Lake Chelan to work in the mining industry.  After serving in the Marines, he married Elizabeth Schwald, a native of Milton Freewater. Elizabeth studied piano and organ at Whitman Conservatory of Music.  Her love of piano landed her a job playing for a traveling dance band that took her to Wenatchee, WA where she met her husband. After marrying, the couple homesteaded many years in Alaska, where Grady worked for the railroad.  He and Elizabeth moved to Milton Freewater in 1959, where Grady worked as a carpenter until he retired in 1972.  The couple lived on Crockett Rd. for many years where Elizabeth was noted for her beautiful flower gardens.