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Buck: May is a month of honoring our memories

Julianne Buck
Julianne Buck

The month of May is a time when we remember loved ones who have passed before us.

We take flowers to the cemeteries and area churches read aloud their book of memorials during Sunday services. We gather on the courthouse lawn on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

These are all ways to keep a loved one’s memory alive and to pass that history along to the next generation.

Another way to remember a loved one is through a named fund at the Community Foundation of Grundy County.

You as the donor can design the fund to reflect the life of your loved one by selecting which charities and causes your loved one cared about.

If your new named fund is endowed, the fund (and your loved one’s name) will live forever as it distributes an annual income stream to your loved one’s favorite charity or cause.

Our most recent named fund is the Mark Smith Legacy Fund for Scholarships at Minooka Community High School. Mark was a well-loved science teacher and coach who died way too young last fall.

The fund was established by Donna Engel, his department chairman, who chose to endow the fund so that it – and Mark’s memory – will live forever.

Other funds at the foundation named after loved ones include Golimkowski, Eslinger, Anderson, Siron, Gordon, Rivera, Bowker, Ostrem, Holderman, Meadors, Schroeder, Hoaglund, Muffler, Ciota, McTague and Lundy.

Eugene and Vi Golimowski (and their sons) were dedicated to Boy Scouting and Rainbow Council. An anonymous donor set up an endowed fund in their memory to forever fund two Boy Scout troops in Morris so that those troops will always have funds to support Scouts and leaders without financial means.

Roger Eslinger, late husband of Realtor Joan Eslinger, loved children. Each year, Joan chooses organizations serving Grundy County who focus on children to receive grants in her husband’s memory.

Morris High School Scholarship Funds honor a number of loved ones.

Fred Anderson was a cattleman who was a longtime supporter of education and MCHS. Espi Siron was a longtime employee at Baum’s who was very active in the community.

Roger Gordon was a beloved teacher, counselor and board member at MCHS. The Mark McTague Fund was established by his parents, Dick and Merle McTague.  

Mr. Ciota was a longtime principal at MCHS. The Ciota Fund was created by their sons in memory of Bob and Melissa Ciota.

Allison Rivera was a student at Minooka High School, where she excelled at creative writing and science. Her family set up two scholarships in her name – one for writing and one for science.

The Holderman granddaughters set up funds to honor their family. Dr. Bowker and his nurse, Stella Ostrem, delivered many, many babies over their careers. S.J. Holderman was Grundy County state’s attorney. Carolyn Meadors Holderman, mother of the girls, passed away in 2011.

Duane Schroeder set up a fund to benefit the Grand Ridge Cemetery, where generations of Schroeders are buried. Pete Hoaglund loved golf and the fund in his name supports the golf team at Morris High School.

Pete Muffler was a longtime firefighter and community volunteer. The Muffler Scholarship supports students pursuing careers in fire science.

Lois Lundy was a fierce advocate for those with mental illness.

The “Lois Lundy Fund for Mental Illness” was set up by the Grundy County Chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

To begin thinking how you might design a fund in memory of your loved one, please download the “New Fund Questions” form on our website: or call us at 815-941-0852.

Remember, donors don’t give to a community foundation, they give through a community foundation.

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