Colfax farmer’s fund fulfills late wife’s philanthropic dreams

Milt Klettke started farming after completing 11th grade at Ritzville High School. In 1945, at age 18, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in the European Theatre of World War II. Milt met his future wife, Beth Scheeler, on a blind date in 1947 while she was a student at Pacific Lutheran College.

They were married and started farming together in 1951, going broke in the first 11 years. “But we kept at it and it all worked out,” Milt said. “Beth drove the farm trucks. She was a hard worker,” he added proudly. After Beth passed away, Milt began planning a way to make her philanthropic dreams come true. With the help of Milt’s investment manager at Merrill Lynch, Jake Phillips, a fund was established at Innovia Foundation. The Milt & Beth Klettke Fund designates six organizations to receive annual grants.

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