Donor Story

This Mother's Love Lasts Forever

Adults with with cerebral palsy attending the recreation program at the Ability Center
Kyle Didio (in the blue shirt on the front row of the photo) and friends at the Ability Center.
We wish the late Laura Turner could see the good works being done today in her name, 62 years after she passed away in Virginia Beach at age 75.

Laura's 1956 obituary credits her with starting the first school in Virginia Beach in 1904. That was quite an accomplishment, but so is the support Laura continues to give -- decades after her death -- to area residents facing lifelong challenges.

Laura's daughter, Josephine, had cerebral palsy and lived to age 46 -- dying just two weeks before her mom in 1956. Obituaries for both the Turners requested memorial donations go to a cerebral palsy organization. And, Laura's estate left a gift to Eggleston Services to help adults with cerebral palsy. Eggleston transferred the funds to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation 21 years ago.

Kyle Didio with parents Jerry and Dona
Kyle Didio with parents Jerry and Dona.

Through the community foundation, Turner grants today help adults with cerebral palsy like Kyle Didio of Chesapeake. Kyle enjoys spending time with friends at the Ability Center of Virginia's recreation program where the photo was taken. Over the years, Turner grants have helped the Virginia Beach center buy furniture and equipment, provide scholarships and run summer camps.

Kyle has been part of the center since he was a baby. His mom Dona Didio likes that her 31-year-old son is "treated with love, respect, dignity and a spirit of joy by people for whom it's not just a job." I know Laura Turner would share her sentiments.

Special thanks: Our former scholarship recipient Peggy Haile McPhillips, Norfolk city historian, recently discovered Laura and Josephine's obituaries and death certificates, which helped us learn about them. Photographer Glen McClure took the photo of Kyle and friends enjoying music at the Ability Center.

If you or a client want to explore lasting ways to help others forever, contact Kay Stine at or (757) 622-7951.

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