Bequest continues to support Earlville church and beyond

When Marie Hunt, a lifelong resident of Earlville, Iowa, died in 2012, she left a bequest to her church for the benefit of the faith community. Earlville United Parish invested her gift in an endowment at the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

“Marie was from a family of three that were from Earlville,” says Jim Clifton. He and his wife, Connie, are part of a committee that manages the fund’s annual distribution. “She came to church almost every Sunday and sat in the same place in the back row. She had her khaki slacks on and a simple blouse, and you would have never guessed that she was a person with funds.”

When Marie made her gift, the church committee already had bylaws in place for handling large gifts. “It was fortunate that we had that in place, because then there was no question that it was going to be invested and not spent,” says Connie. “Our main goal was to maintain that principal and invest it so that we could use the interest for missions. We have helped a lot of people.”

Since investing Marie’s gift, Earlville United Parish has been able to help fund camperships at Camp Albrecht Acres and support the camp’s endowment fund. Permanent improvements have been made to the church and gifts have been given to the Earlville library. “Locally, we’ve given help to needy families that might be going through medical crisis,” says Connie. “We’ve sent a lot of international missions; we’ve given a lot to Haiti through the years.”

The Fairview Cemetery has also benefitted from the annual distributions. “One reason we have always given to the cemetery is because she has many relatives up there and we thought she would certainly want that maintained and taken care of well,” says Connie.

The Cliftons appreciate that the Community Foundation has been able to consistently provide an annual distribution, and that Marie’s gift has been strengthened through expert investment. “The Community Foundation endowment pays out 5% of the fund balance each year,” says Jim. “Their investments have yielded more than that, so there has been some growth in our principal.”

“With that kind of return from our endowment, we’ve been able to do a lot of good work,” says Connie. Members of the Earlville community remember Marie as someone who actively cared for others, and the Cliftons feel good about continuing her legacy of kindness and generosity through the Earlville United Parish Endowment Fund.

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