LaVerne Ramsey's $9M Gift: A Timeless Legacy for Health and Community

She “was a light in our lives.” That’s how LaVerne Davis Ramsey’s 2020 obituary starts. And through her $9M legacy gift to the Community Foundation, she will continue to be a light in the lives of people for generations to come.

A true Renaissance woman, Ramsey valued education, the arts, and global travel while cultivating a career as a stockbroker then a certified financial planner. “She was part of a group called Friendship Force, where they went around the world and stayed in people’s houses. She just didn’t meet a stranger,” says her nephew, Eric Davies. “She was fascinated by different cultures and different people.”

“She was everybody’s favorite aunt because she was fun. She was like one of the kids,” says Davies who recalls that she also played tennis, roller skated with her nieces and nephews, and celebrated her 60th birthday by standing on her head just because she could. “She was into healthy eating in the early 70s before it was a big thing. She was kind of ahead of her time.” And nearly losing her husband to a heart attack when he was in his early 40s only strengthened Ramsey’s lifelong devotion to health and the prevention of obesity.

Ultimately preceded in death by her husband Bill, who passed away in 2012, Ramsey was clear with her family that the majority of her estate would be left to the Community Foundation to continue the philanthropic work that was so important to her and Bill during their lives. “LaVerne always said, If you need help with something, I will help you in my lifetime, but after I’m gone, all the money’s going to charity,” Davies remembers. “Everybody knew how it was going to happen, and I didn’t hear the first negative thing from any of my cousins or relatives.”

Davies recalls that it was important to the Ramseys that their wealth not cause a rift in the family after they were gone. “They had lots of wealthy, wealthy friends, and when the kids inherited, it never turned out to be a positive thing,” he says. “So that’s why they left it all to the Community Foundation. And I’m at a point in my life where, if I ever won the lottery, I know what I would do with the money – I would give it away until I was dead. So, I’m glad that LaVerne’s funds will help a lot of people.”

LaVerne Ramsey’s generous gift established the Bill and LaVerne Ramsey Field of Interest Fund which will be used to promote health in our region with a specific focus on nutrition and obesity prevention for generations to come.

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