Mike Brauer: A Legacy of Gratitude

Jul 31, 2015 | Leadership

Mike Brauer headshot

Mike Brauer, Mission Advancement Officer

Julia McKale lived at Milwaukee Catholic Home for nearly 20 years.  Her smile warmed the hearts of both friend and stranger.  She lived simply in the same modestly furnished apartment throughout her time at Milwaukee Catholic Home.  To say she loved living at MCH would be to understate her joy in being here with her friends.

Several years ago, Julia expressed an interest in making a significant gift to Milwaukee Catholic Home.  She had been donating to various projects and appeals several times each year because, for Julia, she found it was a way for her to express her gratitude to MCH.  She loved her friends, she looked forward to attending events and she felt cared for.  It was truly her home.

Like most retirees, Julia lived on a fixed income so she knew that her gift would have to come from one of her assets.  In conversation with staff, she was reminded that the entrance deposit that she had paid upon arriving at MCH was, in fact, a potential vehicle for her to make the gift that she had wanted to make.  After another conversation or two, Julia decided to direct her entire entrance deposit to Milwaukee Catholic Home as a gift.  Per her wishes, this charitable gift was designated equally to three endowment funds: chaplaincy, fine arts, and benevolent care.mckale

Julia passed away earlier this summer and her gift has now been received by MCH according her wishes.  In addition, we were surprised to learn that Julia had made an additional gift provision for us – we were named as a beneficiary of an annuity.  Just last week, Milwaukee Catholic Home received this additional gift from her estate.

We are grateful to Julia for her generous heart and for her wish that a part of her legacy be reflected in her gifts.  These gifts, while significant to MCH, were more significant for Julia as she sought to use these financial vehicles as a means to further express her gratitude.  In so doing, she was acting as a good steward – she ‘paid it forward’. Her legacy of gratitude will live on and will hopefully inspire others to make similar decisions.

As a part of our final 100th Anniversary celebration on October 1st, we will unveil and dedicate a new wall that recognizes the legacy of giving by our residents, their families, and our friends that has been a part of MCH since 1913.  The initial gifts of land and buildings that were made by the Cudahy and Hackett families are a part of this philanthropic legacy.

For more information on how to make a gift using appreciated assets including an entrance deposit, contact me anytime at 414-225-8246 or by email at