Longtime Mason supports the children’s library in Florence

(Front row from left) Siuslaw Public Library Foundation President Laurel Ferguson and Library Director Meg Spencer. (Back row from left) Siuslaw Public Library District Board President Susy Lacer, Assistant Director and Youth Services Librarian Gayle Vinchesi and representatives of the Florence Masonic Lodge Secretary Hunt Ramsey, PM, Marshall Dick Tooley, PM, and Senior Warden Tom Velvin MWPGM-MD. (courtesy photo)

$500,000+ donated to Siuslaw Public Library’s program

July 24, 2021 — On Wednesday, July 21, officers from the Florence Masonic Lodge presented a check to the Siuslaw Public Library and its Children's Section. The amount, totalling more than $500,000, was just one way that longtime Mason Paul Robert Kindsvater left a legacy for children.

Paul Kindsvater

Paul Kindsvater

Kindsvater, 1932-2020, loved children and was a teacher for over 34 years. He spent many years on the local Masonic Lodge Scholarship Committee. 

“Sometimes he would even provide an extra scholarship when he thought it was necessary,” said local Mason Dick Tooley. “He always supported our Dictionary Give Away program, Child ID, students abroad, as well as our teacher training program.”  

Kindsvater was a Mason for 65 years. In 1955, like his father in 1948, he joined Medford Lodge Number 77 and, in 1994 after retiring, he moved to Florence and joined Florence Lodge Number 107.  While here, he was an active member until his death last year. In 2002 he received the Hiram Award, which is an award given to older members for their long-time service to Freemasonry. 

In his death, Paul continues to support local children by leaving most of his estate to the children’s library in Florence. 

“This will give our local library well over $500,000 to help the children of Florence,” Tooley said. 

Besides the donation to the library, Kindsvater also set up a fund for the lodge to draw on to help support the Florence Masonic Lodge Scholarship Fund. 

“Paul never married but always supported the lodge's efforts to help the children of the Florence area,” Tooley said. “He believed our children are our future and we look forward to continuing his support for them.”

After learning of the donation, Siuslaw Public Library Assistant Director and Youth Services Librarian Miss Gayle said, “Hearing Paul's Lodge brothers talk about his passion for educating children and teens is inspiring. There is no greater legacy than to impact the lives of children, and we at the library are honored and privileged to share Paul's passion.”

The Siuslaw Public Library has locations at 1460 Ninth St. in Florence and 88148 Riverview Ave. in Mapleton. Both locations have books and activities for children. Even more resources are available at www.siuslawlibrary.info.

According to Library Director Meg Spencer, “Mr. Kindsvater's donation will be felt for decades in our community, and young people here will have better access to library and literacy services because of his remarkable generosity.  He will be making generations of readers with this gift. I can't thank him and the Florence Masonic Lodge enough for their commitment to education in our region.”