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Legacy of Learning: Inheritance funds MET contract purchases

Even though they died years ago and initially quit school before earning high school diplomas, Erlean and Verle Gilbert Sr. continue to inspire their family’s pursuit of higher education.

“They were very much in favor of education,” said daughter-in-law Cynthia Gilbert, who with husband Verle Jr. is continuing their legacy by establishing college savings accounts for the family’s younger generations – including the spring 2019 purchase of 10 Michigan Education Trust prepaid tuition contracts to benefit seven grandchildren, two great-nieces and one great-nephew.

“It’s very important to my husband and me that they don’t have a lot of debt from going to college,” she said of the MET beneficiaries, who at the time of purchase ranged in age from 7 months to 15 years.              

Technically, it was inheritance money from Cynthia’s father, Carl Armor, who died in January 2019 at age 94, that funded the MET contract purchases.

But it was primarily the example set by her in-laws that influenced Cynthia and Verle Jr.’s decision to devote the funds toward their younger relatives’ future education.

“I guess what it boils down to is we also believe in education and we decided we might as well invest in our family,” Cynthia said.