Over $100,00 Raised to Help WWII Veteran Stay in His Home

By Debbie Gregory.

John “Jack” Potter, a 91-year-old WWII Veteran, was served with an eviction notice on February 03, 2013. His daughter, Janice Cottrill, ordered the eviction from the house that Jack built 56 years ago in Zaleski, Ohio.

In 2004, Potter, and his now deceased wife, signed over power of attorney to their only daughter to provide security in health situations, and continue the care of their severely disabled 64-year-old autistic son. Potter discovered that his daughter intended to have declared legally incompetent, but he had the charge reversed.

The Veteran, who previously fought in the Aleutian Islands during WWII, also served as former sheriff of Vinton County. He had also been elected mayor of Zaleski, Ohio, and had been employed as a chief train dispatcher by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Potter is now retired and living on his pension.

Upon discovering the deed switch in 2010, Potter immediately transferred power of attorney to Jaclyn Fraley, his 35-year-old granddaughter from San Diego. Fraley, a nurse, moved to Columbus, Ohio, to live near her grandfather.

Power of Attorney does not permit the assigned person to transfer assets from the estate to their domain. Potter sued Cottrill for fraud in Vinton County Court to reclaim his home, and he won his case. However, the daughter appealed in the Fourth Appellate District Court, and since the four-year statute of limitations had run its course, Potter lost the final court decision.

ABC news reported Fraley’s comments concerning the case, explaining that Cottrill and her husband Dean, served Fraley’s 91-year-old grandfather with an eviction notice, terminating his current lease.

The eviction hearing is scheduled for June 12, 2013.

Potter is dismayed that his daughter and his son-in-law would evict him. Janice Cottrill has declined to speak on the issue. But her attorney, Lorene Johnston, said, “The case is pending in the Vinton County Court, and we will let the court decide the issues.”

Fraley has been estranged from her mother and stepfather for two or more years, upon discovering their intent to force her grandfather into a nursing home facility.

Trying to cease an eviction and save her grandfather from losing the home he built, Fraley established a crowdfunding drive on gofundme.com, and initially raised $42,134 from 1,781 contributors. As word spread of Potters plight, almost $100,000 was raised within a 24-hour timeframe. As of the posting of this article, a total of $136,203 has been donated by over 5,000 kind contributors.

Potter’s attorney, Timothy Gleeson, stated that his client isn’t in a position to make an offer on his home until the money arrives. Cottrill is willing to negotiate a purchase price, as she says she needs the money, or the old Veteran must go. Fraley wants her grandfather’s remaining years to be lived out in the home he built and has lived in most of his life.

Potter is grateful for the display of generosity from strangers donating to his cause, and he is wonderfully overwhelmed, and says he is “slightly embarrassed that he has to ask his fellow man for help.”

His fellow man has responded with kindness, even during an economic crunch. Now, he may purchase back his home thanks to his granddaughter’s swift actions, trusting in the “kindness of strangers” and the heartfelt donations of those moved by this crisis.

If you would like to join “Team Jack”, go to:  http://www.gofundme.com/GrandpaJohnJPotter.
If you prefer to send your donation, the mailing address is:
P.O. Box 558, McArthur, Ohio 45651.