Fund Est. 2009
Life long Decatur residents, Bernadine ‘Bessie’ and Andy Appelman were very active in the Decatur and the surrounding area. They had an impact on our community and those who established this fund wanted to honor their memory.
They were both born and raised in the Decatur area and came from large families. Since 1926, Andy’s parents owned the Appelman’s Grocery Store located next to the current location of the West End Restaurant (Monroe and Seventh Street). For over 40 years (1934 – July 1973), Andy Appelman owned and operated the well-known West End Restaurant. Andy was the ‘face’ of the restaurant with the customers while Bessie took care of the kitchen.
Andy took care of people that were less fortunate than he and his family. He was truly a compassionate businessman and a concerned community leader. It was reported that years ago, when there were wayward travelers (referred to as hobos), Andy would offer a free hot meal for those unable to afford such a luxury.
Andy and Bessie had a real zest for life. Andy (shown, left) had a private pilot's license which gave the two of them the opportunity to fly around the country. Andy was also a county councilman and a member of the Alcohol Beverage Commission.
Both Andy and Bessie bowled and traveled to bowling tournaments together. Andy loved to golf and did so almost every day during the summer.
They were both active in the Elks Lodge, Moose, Knights of Columbus, St. Mary's Parish and other community organizations. They enjoyed working on the farm and gardening. Andy loved going to sporting events (Reds games, college games, etc.) and Bessie would happily accompany him.
Andy and his first wife, Alice (Kriegel) had three daughters: Miriam (Stephens), Norma Jean ‘Tommy’ (Yost), and Patricia ‘Patti’ (Mansfield). Alice died in 1938. On January 6, 1954, Andy married Bernadine Faurote, and they had one daughter, Andrea Marie (Appelman) Allison. Together they have had 19 grandchildren.
Andy and Bessie were very involved with the church and family. An elite group, Andrew Appelman was one of five students of the first gradating class of Decatur Catholic High School. He was a member of St. Marys Parish for over 50 years. The three older daughters graduated from St. Joseph High School and Andrea attended St. Joe grade school and graduated from Bellmont High School. They felt it was necessary for their children get a solid education and attend college. They also made sure they had an appreciation for their extended family.
One of the things the Appelmans enjoyed was to host a family reunion at the farm during the summer. This farm, located west of Decatur (across from Thunderbird), has been in the Appelman family for over seven generations.
The family wanted to follow the path of compassion and giving as demonstrated by Andy and Bessie. They want to make a positive impact on Decatur by giving back. “We wanted our family involved in this so they continue to remember their grandparents and emphasize to them the importance of giving back to the community.”
This fund was established as a donor advised fund which will provide support primarily for nonprofit organizations in this community following the giving path of their parents.