Community Giving

Jerry Anderson

Community Foundation(s): Willmar Area
Award: 2016 Marv Otto Award

The Foundation is pleased to award Jerome “Jerry” Anderson with the Marv Otto Award for the lasting legacy his generous estate gifts have left in our community.

Jerry’s mother passed away when he was very young and after his father remarried, Jerry became close to his stepmother, Anna. Following his father’s death, she lived with Jerry on the family farm until her passing in 2003. They both joined Calvary Lutheran Church after the congregation welcomed Anna and showed her the kindness that Jerry so valued.

After Anna passed away, Jerry’s thoughts turned to his own legacy that he built through his success in farming. Jerry was a very humble and down-to-earth man who loved working with the land and enjoyed stopping in at his advisor’s office for coffee and a chat. These visits led Jerry to consider his options for leaving his estate to local charities and his family members. Jerry took time to thoroughly evaluate all of his options; he wanted to be sure his plans were well thought-out so others would not be burdened with making those decisions on his behalf. Jerry’s kindness and respect for others drove his estate planning process and decisions.

After much deliberation, Jerry decided to gift most of his estate to local charities. The most significant gift he left was to Calvary Lutheran Church in the form of several acres of his farmland, but he generously donated portions of his estate to a total of 32 local charities. The remainder of the estate went to his nieces and nephews with one inspired caveat. In order to receive the inheritance, each family member would need to agree to donate ten percent of it to a charity of their choice. This stipulation impacted an additional 18 charities on Jerry’s behalf.

Jerry’s kindness has left a lasting impression on our community. By taking the time to consider how he could best help others, he in turn helped build community by passing on his legacy of charitable giving to the next generation.