BERWICK — The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation (CSCF) announced a new scholarship fund for Shamokin Area students. The Marian Eleanor Weikel Scholarship Fund was recently established with a $1 million contribution from Dr. M. Keith Weikel and Barbara D. Weikel. The scholarship was created as a lasting tribute and in loving memory of Keith and Allen Weikel’s mother, Marian Eleanor Weikel.
A graduating Shamokin Area senior will receive significant financial support, approximately $40,000 per year for up to four years, from this endowed fund.
Initially, this four-year scholarship will be awarded to a deserving female student who has extreme financial need, has achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and has demonstrated leadership qualities. Subsequent recipients will be male or female. Applications will be made available soon for students to apply.
“Our mother was a force of nature. She was energetic, determined, stubborn, generous, disciplined, loving, opinionated, helpful, compassionate and kind,” remembered Keith Weikel.
“We are grateful to be able to provide this four-year scholarship to a Shamokin Area High School senior in loving memory of our mother.”
In a biography written by Keith, Barbara, granddaughter Kristin, and Allen Weikel, the family explained that Miarian was born in Shamokin in 1918 to Blair and Rose Faust. Rose died that same year in the flu epidemic. Her father, left with four children under the age of 4, gave Marian to a childless couple.
During a difficult and challenging childhood, Marian developed her love of cooking, especially baked goods, and reading. She never attended Shamokin High School and ended school in 10th grade. However, she was self-taught on many subjects through her passion for reading and received her GED in 1972 at age 55.
When she was 18, she married Malcolm Weikel and had the family she always longed for, including the two sons she adored. As times continued to be difficult financially, she was a full-time factory worker and her family’s primary wage earner. She was also a caregiver to her husband and mother-in-law.
Marian instilled an incredibly strong work ethic in her sons. Keith and Allen were always given chores to perform and work to do. They were asked early on to contribute to the family income by selling eggs from their raised chickens and delivering newspapers.
Education was Marian's highest priority for her sons and unselfishly insisted that they both attend college. Both Keith and Allen went on to have very successful careers in business and law enforcement.
At the age of 55, Marian began running 4 to 5 miles a day and continued walking that daily distance into her 80s. A faithful Christian, she read her Bible every day and made sure her children were rooted in faith by her example. She lived until the age of 86.
“The legacy of a former Shamokin resident provides an amazing opportunity for current Shamokin Area students. We are privileged to work with this family to create a scholarship that honors their mother’s life,” said CSCF Foundation President and CEO M. Holly Morrison.
Together with its affiliates, CSCF administers more than 80 scholarship funds, awarding $262,000 annually to students across the region. For more information, visit www.csgiving.org, or call the Foundation at 1-866-454-6692.