A love of her Swedish heritage and a strong desire to share it with future generations was the motivation for Joyce Specter to gift $500,000 to Bethany College, according to her niece Judith Brazilay.
“I spent a lot of time as a child with my Aunt Joyce. She loved sharing her Swedish heritage it was very important to her. It is very appropriate that her legacy be part of the Swedish Chapel at Bethany College.”
The gift to Bethany was left in her estate and designated to support and or help maintain costs associated with the Bud Pearson Swedish Chapel. She attended the groundbreaking for the facility in 2013 and was very excited and proud to part of the project, according to Brazilay, who lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Specter was born in Enterprise, Kansas and graduated from the Wichita Business College and worked at Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, where she met her husband Morton. She and her husband were long-time residents of Russell, Kansas. Her brother-in-law was the former Senator Arlen Specter. She was an avid and knowledgeable antique collector and appreciated art. Her hobby, which became a vocation, brought her to Lindsborg often.
“She was very interested in art and antiques and we visited Lindsborg many times because of that and her love of her Swedish roots,” Brazilay said. “As a child she taught me a lot about Swedish traditions. We never made lutefisk, but we talked about it a lot. We did make meatballs and sweet cakes.”
Specter was 93 years old when she passed away this October in Russell, but her legacy will be honored with the naming of a portion of the Pearson Chapel as the Joyce “Hacker” Specter Gallery. The Gallery is the main hall of the Welcome Center, just outside of the Chapel, and provides a space to display student art and other temporary art exhibitions.