Community Giving

Tom and Helen Krebsbach

Tom and Helen Krebsbach

Fund Name: Tom and Helen Krebsbach Fund
Fund Established: July 2002
Community Foundation(s): Central Minnesota

For Tom and Helen Krebsbach, discovering the legacy preserving tools and options at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation “was like a dream come true,” according to their nephew, Paul Pfannenstein.

“They really found a connection, a way to continue their legacy,” Paul explained. “Trying to figure it out was keeping them up at night. It’s such a great tool.”

Tom and Helen, long-time residents of St. Joseph, were married for 53 years, until Tom’s death in 2013. Paul describes them as “low-key and didn’t really like the limelight.” But they felt blessed and fortunate to own a very successful business, Krebsbach Chevrolet, along with Tom’s father, and two brothers, Ray and John.

The hours were long, often spilling into the nights and weekends. But they also knew when it was time to enjoy family and friends. Paul remembers a particularly unique tradition – making homemade sausage with the extended Pfannenstein clan. They’d purchase the sausage from the St. Joe Meat Market and head over to Tom and Helen’s, where they had a sausage stuffer, a special table and plenty of good spices. “It was almost more like a family reunion than about making sausage.”

Once the Krebsbachs moved forward with creating a fund at CMCF, they decided to designate their funding to the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Cathedral High School and St. Benedict’s Senior Community, a reflection of their deep Catholic faith. In Helen’s words, “My father always taught us, you give nine inches to the church, you’ll get 99 back.”

Because of Tom and Helen’s generosity, their church will continue to flourish in St. Joseph, students will continue to receive a Catholic education at Cathedral and older adults will be well cared for in their twilight years.