The legacy that Jeanne Mary Villon left is as multifaceted as the life she led: She taught others to love, have faith and to be generous and trusting. To be certain that her financial gifts would continue that legacy, Jeanne made a bequest to Americares in her estate plan.
"Jeanne's biggest hope was that the majority of her gift would go to people in need," says her dear friend Catherine Nicholl, whom Jeanne helped raise. "She believed that we are here to make a difference in other people's lives."
Born in Middleboro, Mass., Jeanne had studied fashion in Paris and New York, ultimately working in New York for several designers and department stores. When she began to plan her estate, she was delighted at the information available on the internet. "She got on the computer and liked Americares pie chart, which shows that less than 3 percent of funds go to administration," says Catherine. Jeanne spent years living with Catherine in Arizona before she passed away in the spring of 2012, at the age of 91.
Jeanne had donated to Americares for many years, so was familiar with the mission. "She especially appreciated the name—the combination of 'America' and 'cares,'" says Catherine, who remembers how Jeanne carefully read Americares newsletters. "Jeanne loved hearing how her donations were truly making a difference in people's lives. She felt she could make a difference, one life at a time."
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