Sisters Roberta Looser and Dorothy Looser-Flake always heeded the advice of their father.

Even decades after he was gone.

A combination of his teachings and their hard work has resulted in a $6 million gift to their beloved Mercer County.

The Looser-Flake Foundation will make its first distributions in late 2014. It will be administered by the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend.

The sisters made the gift "to advance economic development and further cultural and educational opportunities in Mercer County, with a particular focus on New Boston Township in Mercer County."

They were born and raised on a family farm in Mercer County. Dorothy, born in 1913, was a fifth-grade teacher in the Rock Island-Milan School District for many years. After retiring in 1966, she enjoyed traveling, particularly with Roberta. Dorothy died on May 26, 2006 at age 93.

Roberta, born in 1919, also was an elementary school teacher. She taught in both Mercer County and the Rock Island-Milan district, retiring in 1969. She dies in 2011 at age 92.

In addition to traveling, the sisters were active in their church and retired teachers association. 

They personally selected a board of directors to oversee their foundation. Funding applications will be available in late 2014 at looserflakefoundation.org.

One of the board members is Moline attorney John Slover, who was the women's lawyer for many years.

"They were a prominent farm family in that part of the county," he said. "Even in their 90s, they were talking about what their dad had told them and their father, Robert Looser, died in 1936."

Some of his advice on businesses and being community-minded played a role in their bequest.

"They left the implementation of the general goals of the foundation to the board of directors," Slover said. "Every community needs that charitable capital, funds that will be there. And that is consistent with the wishes of the donors. And we think the Community Foundation can help us develop a network of contacts to find out what the needs are."