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Monday, January 24, 2022

Stillwater brothers leave Catholic school $2.6M for scholarship

Two Stillwater brothers who have died recently have left $2.6 million to help more students at St. Croix Catholic School, the school announced Thursday.

The gift of bachelors John and Jean Deckertins will create a tuition assistance endowment for the school, which has 308 students in pre-K-8 grades.

“The Lord has been so good to us that we will never be able to number,” Principal Sister Maria Ivana said in a news release.

The school has a current endowment of approximately $3.9 million to help with operating expenses. The DeCurtins brothers’ gift will fund a separate endowment specifically for tuition assistance.

Officials are still figuring out how the new scholarship will be designed, but they hope the money will help more students enroll in the school, including those from families who have never dropped a private school because of the cost. Didn’t agree. Families now pay up to $5,350 per child in tuition.

The school told Pioneer Press, “With this thriving gift, it is our hope that more families will reflect on the impact Catholic education has on their children at SCCS, where we work with families to create scholars, disciples and servant leaders.” are united.”

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The DeCurtins brothers were longtime residents of Stillwater who lived together in the house where they grew up. He was a member of St. Michael’s Church.

World War II veteran Gene Deckertins, photographed at Stillwater on February 27, 2017, was the last surviving member of the A&D Last Man’s Club. He was among 180 youths who joined the 135th Infantry of the Minnesota National Guard and left Stillwater on February 25, 1941, 10 months before Pearl Harbor. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

John, who worked as a surveyor for Washington County, died in 2018 at the age of 95.

Jean, who dug a hole for the Northern States Power Company, was 100 when he died in 2019.

Both men served in World War II, and Jean was the last surviving member of the A&D Last Man’s Club, a Stillwater-area social club that began with 180 infantrymen.

“Jean and John value education, and their generous gifts will provide opportunities for so many children,” said friend Lori Houston.

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