PONCA, Neb. (KCAU) – A Norfolk man left thousands of dollars to the Northeast Community College in his estate planning.  

According to a release from Northeast Community College (NCC), Mahlon “Jack” Kohler left $40,000 to NCC in his will. Kohler passed away in September 2021 at the age of 96. The money has been placed in an endowment and will help nursing students in perpetuity.  

The release stated that Kohler was called to duty by the United States Naby in 1943 and received an honorable discharge on May 6, 1946.  

After being discharged, he moved back to Norfolk and worked for American Optical Company for 33 years. When Kohler was 95, he was recognized in front of over 86,000 fans at Memorial Stadium during a Cornhusker football game.  

“Jack lived in the Norfolk area for many years and was always fond of education,” said Kohler’s stepson Ronald Kotrous, “He decided to choose nursing (for his benevolence) because of the people. In the last few years, they were really good to Jack and to my mom, so they wanted to give back to that community.”  

Vice President of Development and External Affairs with NCC Dr. Tracy Kruse said that scholarships create a legacy, and when the principal of an endowment is invested, scholarships are paid from the earnings.  

“Planned giving provides an opportunity to make a large gift while still caring for your loved ones,” said Kruse, “An estate gift is probably the largest charitable donation you will ever make, and the best opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. We sincerely appreciate this gift from Mr. Kohler, and will remember him each time we present the Mahlon B. Kohler Scholarship.”  

According to the release, endowed scholarships at NCC create a permanent fund, and contributions ensure the scholarship retains its value. This allows for scholarships to be awarded annually from the interest accrued and the principal is never touched.  

The release specified that the minimum amount required to set up an endowed scholarship is $25,000 and can be paid over a five-year period.  

For additional information on endowed or annual scholarships, call 402-844-7240 or email foundation@northeast.edu.