Mother uncertain of future after son dies, leaving home to charity

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BETHALTO, IL (KPLR) - A Bethalto senior citizen faces an uncertain time after her son died and left the home they shared to a charity.

The late Wayne Ray was a lifelong, loyal Mason, a part of the Shriners organization.  Ray willed the three bedroom house he owned to a national not for profit: Shriners Hospitals for Children based in Tampa, FL.  But his 91-year old mother, Effie Dugan, says he always assured her the Shriners would ‘take care of her’ and allow her to live in the ranch home as long as she wanted to.

Ray died unexpectedly at age 71 in February.  As Dugan was recovering from major surgery this spring, she received a letter indicating the Shriners Hospitals group did not want to be a landlord.  She says she became anxious over the future and how she could manage to move.

FOX2 contacted the charity’s executive vice president John McCabe Wednesday.  He said “I think there is a misunderstanding that we want her off that property.”

The not-for-profit does not want to be an absentee landlord primarily for liability reasons, but McCabe said “there are other alternatives which we have discussed with the attorney for the estate.”

The estate’s attorney Kenneth Balsters of Bethalto did not return a call from from FOX2 Wednesday.


  • Dr.H. Rhiencroft

    Kenneth Balsters , the estates attorney … well looks like he is just a typical Madison County Attorney — aka “estate raiders”.
    What a weasel.

  • Just Me

    First off I would like to say the Mason’s and the Shriners are just fantastic. The charitable work and services they provide are over and above any expectations anyone could dream about.
    As a matter of fact the Shriners make “DREAMS” come true for hundreds, thousands and into the millions of families “Dreams” come true as they provide a much needed service to Children.
    This story “MUST” have come from the satirical newspaper “THE ONION” as there is “No way, No how” such a charitable organization and dedicated group of men so passionately dedicated to serving those in need would disrespect a “Life Long Member” unintentional omission [for his Mother to live there] in his gift to the organization.
    I have to admit I was not happy as I read and listened to this report but I’m very confident it’s either a joke or the Shriners made an incorrect by the book decision and it will be corrected immediately.

    • Mary Bobbitt

      We’ll it is no joke and you should do some serious checking before calling it a joke. Although the SHriners do plenty of good work for kids, they should not put. this elderly lady out, where is their heart now for doing good things for people.

    • Rob Woller

      I agree the Shriners are a great organization, but the article does not indicate they intend to throw this lady out. They are concerned about liability, since they cannot monitor and maintain this property long-distance. Since they legally own this property, they are probably exploring ways for this lady or someone else to buy it. That way, they get a cash donation, end their liability to this property, and the mother can continue living there.

  • Jackie Carter

    She should not even have to rent a home that her and her son have lived in for years, as long as she keeps the house up taxes paid etc, let the lady live the rest of her days their then the Shriners can sell it or whatever they choose to do with it.

  • Love Jokes

    iT’S NOT the Shriners fault. Gosh, stop blaming them. shame on the son. Now all of you get your money together and get this lady a place to live.

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