Roland and Lillian Whitmire didn’t set out to change the world. They lived a quiet life in downtown York, and enjoyed cultural activities such as travel, books, and classical music.
But in 2011, the couple did something amazing: they gave the largest ever single gift to York County Community Foundation’s Fund for York County, the Foundation’s most flexible fund for donors to affect community improvement. The $2.25 million gift was made through their estates (Mr. Whitmire passed away in 2011 and Mrs. Whitemire passed away in 2007) and will allow the Community Foundation to respond creatively and effectively to the most important issues facing our community.
Mr. Whitmire, a former engineer for GTE North, and Mrs. Whitmire, a former secretary for the former CoreStates Bank, lived most of their 58 years of married life on West Philadelphia Street in downtown York. Mr. Whitmire loved interior design and took on most of the responsibility of renovating their home. On their travels, Mr. Whitmire photographed architectural renderings of famous ships and then built model ships based on the photographs and his drawings.
The Whitmires worked with their attorney, Jon Countess from CGA Law Firm, who specializes in estate planning, to develop an estate plan that met their personal and financial needs while at the same time left a lasting legacy of support for their community after their lifetime.
“After their retirements, Roland and Lillian met with me to prepare for their future,” said Countess. “They wanted to be sure that their nest egg would last to support them, and they wanted to know what the possibilities were for their estates after their passing. They were very pleased to learn about York County Community Foundation and its ability to help donors drive improvement in their community for many generations.”
The endowed Roland M. and Lillian R. Whitmire Fund for York County will help create immediate improvement in the Community Foundation’s focus areas of education, downtown revitalization, issues of aging, and general community improvement. Because of its permanence, the Fund will provide valuable resources for future focus areas of the Community Foundation and York County.
“Roland and Lillian Whitmire have created a legacy where their generosity will drive improvement in the York community in perpetuity,” said Jane Conover, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are so thankful that Jon Countess introduced the important role of the Community Foundation to them. Their legacy will forever be in good hands.”