The first letter came late last year, saying the Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter had been named an heir in the will of an elderly woman.
The Lewiston shelter had received bequests before of $1,000 to $5,000, said James McMains, shelter board president. “We thought, ‘Isn’t that marvelous. Maybe it’s $1,000.”’
But the final communication notified them that Alice E. Johnson had left the facility nearly $100,000, kicking off the ground-breaking for a new shelter. The effort currently has about $200,000.
“She had bought a dog here many years ago and she just dearly loved that dog,” shelter manager Billy Hyden said Johnson’s lawyer told them. “It was basically a great companion to her, so she just kept us in mind, I guess.”
Johnson’s friends said Alice and her husband, Willard “Bill” Johnson, were fond of animals because they did not have any children. She was a beautician and her husband was a partner in Johnson Motors Ford Garage.
Alice Johnson was 88 when she and a friend, Clayton McGill, were killed in a car accident in August 1995 near Lenore. Bill Johnson died in 1985.