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Donor story - Franz and Crista Boetsch

In search for a cure

Franz and Crista Boetsch met in Frankfurt, Germany in 1953 when he rented a room in her home. “I liked him right away. You could tell because he got my room,” Crista said. Franz worked in construction as a brick mason and Crista was an apprentice in a dress shop. Three years later, they married.

In 1957 the couple landed in New York then joined family in Texas that had previously emigrated to the United States. The people there were helpful and friendly, even giving them a baby shower. Franz and Crista didn’t know what a baby shower was, but the effort was much appreciated. Franz found a job in commercial construction, eventually opening his own business designing and building custom homes. In 1984 he called it quits, but got bored with retirement. That is when he opened an art gallery and picture framing store. Their home is adorned with Franz’s wonderful paintings.

In 2011, Franz sold the gallery and they moved to Del Mar, California. Around that same time, Franz and Crista both noticed she was having memory problems. She also felt insecure and didn’t want to be around people. She thought maybe it was culture shock. She was referred to a neurologist who diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s. She said the diagnosis was devastating. She lost her driver’s license and along with it, her independence. But she said Franz stepped and has lovingly cared for her, telling her “It goes without words, we’re here for each other.”

Crista made a conscious decision to keep a positive attitude and never give up. They spend their time skiing, playing tennis and spending time with their children and their grandchildren. Crista also plays the piano. Franz says that they don’t watch anything negative on TV. He bought a book of jokes and he reads it at bedtime so they “fall asleep laughing.”

Franz and Crista wanted to support the Alzheimer’s Association and also supplement their retirement income, so Franz established a charitable gift annuity. The annuity provides him with lifetime payments at an interest rate more than three times what his CD was earning. Franz and Crista hope their gift will help in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s and that sharing their story will encourage others to make a planned gift to the Association.


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