Sunday, July 13, 2014

Local couple‚??s legacy is education

February 16. 2013 6:02PM

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WILKES-BARRE ‚?? The estate of a childless couple from Exeter is making it possible for many young adults to get a King‚??s College education.

The estate of Norbert and Victoria Gustitus on Monday gave King‚??s more than $473,000 to be used to establish a memorial scholarship in their names.

‚??King‚??s is extremely grateful for the generosity of the late Mr. and Mrs. Gustitus,‚?Ě King‚??s President the Rev. John Ryan said. ‚??Their gift will provide financial support on an annual basis to students for generations to come and will help King‚??s continue its mission to educate the sons and daughters of working-class families.‚?Ě

According to estate documents, the King‚??s scholarship will be given to ‚??students who are financially in need of assistance and who are academically qualified to attend King‚??s College.‚?Ě

Victoria Gustitus‚?? brother, Norbert Katarsky, said Monday his sister and brother-in-law would be extremely happy to see the amount of money go to the college.

‚??(Norbert Gustitus) had taken some (night) courses there after he retired‚?Ě in 1985, Katarsky said. ‚??He appreciated taking these courses and wanted to give back to the college.‚?Ě

Katarsky said that‚??s the only connection to the college he could find of his sister and brother-in-law, who were married in 1951.

Before the King‚??s donation, the couple took care of their extended family.

The longtime owners of the former Gustitus Drug Store in Exeter had grown up in families with several siblings.

Katarsky, who was named trustee of the Gustituses‚?? estate, said the estate money was first directed to be used by family members who needed financial assistance or wanted to go to college. After a few hundred thousands dollars was paid out, around $473,000 remained.

Katarsky said the final amount wasn‚??t to be released until several years after his sister‚??s death, but he didn‚??t want taxes and other expenses to deplete what the Gustituses hoped would go to King‚??s.

‚??Now, the money will continue on (for a long time),‚?Ě Katarsky said.

Victoria Gustitus died in 2009.

Norbert Gustitus graduated from Exeter High School and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He served during World War II in the U.S. Army and worked at several area pharmacies before opening his own business along Wyoming Avenue, where his parents owned a shoe store and café.

He died in November 1997.

Katarsky said his sister met her future husband through a mutual friend, and they were married in 1951.

Victoria Gustitus had worked for the Blue Ribbon Bakery in Kingston and later joined her husband at the pharmacy until her retirement.

‚??They were generous people,‚?Ě Katarsky said. ‚??They ran the drug store and met a lot of people along the way, some who didn‚??t have money who they would help.‚?Ě

Katarsky said his sister and brother-in-law were committed to their business and the community, and traveled only occasionally to a cottage they owned in Falls.

‚??They enjoyed the (pharmacy) and the people that went there the most,‚?Ě Katarsky said.

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