Woman crisscrosses West to fulfill acquaintance’s last wish
When Rita Poe died of cancer, she left nearly $800,000 to a dozen national wildlife refuges and parks, mostly in the West.
Poe also put a woman she barely knew, Nancy Zingheim, in charge of carrying out her last wishes.
Zingheim knew little about Poe, who spent her final months at the RV park in Washington state where Zingheim worked as a business manager. She knew even less about national wildlife refuges.
After Poe’s death, Zingheim embarked on a 4,000-mile (6,400-kilometer) road trip to find out more about Poe and the wild places that drew her in.
Back from her road trip, Zingheim wrote out checks last month.
They ranged from $96,500 to central California’s Merced National Wildlife Refuge to $48,000 to Utah’s Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.