Leaving a Legacy of Generosity

Alberta and Northwest Territories

Legacy Donor Kathleen Virginia Brown


Kathleen Virginia Brown, or Kay as family and friends knew her was a very independent and generous woman. Her nephew, Rick, shared, “We learned, very early on, that she was a welcoming, warm, independent and very caring person.”

Kay knew the meaning of responsibility and concern for others. Her generosity and charitable donations were considerable and far-ranging. So, when Kay began her estate planning 15+ years ago, it was not a surprise to her nephew and co-executor, Rick, that she planned to leave the entirety of the estate to charities. Kay told her sister, Rick’s mother, about her plan, and she said, “…you know my family is doing alright”. Over the years, her plan changed. Ultimately, she settled on leaving 58% of her estate to 29 charities ranging from small local organizations to larger international groups supporting various animal, health, and social welfare causes.

Kay developed incredible lifelong friendships with people she cared about and wanted to spend time with. One of these friendships inspired her gift to the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories. “She was very impressed by the care that this friend of hers, a very close life-long friend, had received and your organization’s support through the latter part of her life.”

As a co-executor of Kay’s estate, Rick sees firsthand how her planning has impacted charities. He is receiving thank you letters and reports sharing how her gifts will and are being used to help the causes that were close to her. Her philanthropy has inspired him to donate some of his inheritance to his favourite charities.

When asked if Rick had any advice for those who are writing their wills and want to leave a gift to charity, he has one piece of advice. “In your life cycle, you can change things, but don't leave it too late. I know this is hard because our needs change as we age but try as much as possible not to leave it too late.”

Kathleen Virginia Brown’s gift in her will to the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories will help to fund programming for those living with dementia and their care partners.

For information about leaving a gift in your will, click here or contact:
April Grindheim, Major Gift & Planned Giving Officer
780.761.0036 or agrindheim@alzheimer.ab.ca