Planning Ahead Eases the Unexpected
Three years ago, when Doug and Margaret Lee were planning their retirement, they prioritized their philanthropic interests — the most important of which was Stetson University. They decided to continue their annual gifts as well as their membership in The Stetson Society through provisions in their estate plans.
Sweethearts since high school, Doug's sudden passing a few weeks into their retirement turned Margaret's world upside down. She recently shared that "during that difficult time and in the years since, the outpouring of love and support from students, alumni, friends, faculty and staff demonstrated what we all know, that Stetson is a deeply caring community. There is no way to put into words how much the notes, prayers, e-mails and phone calls continue to mean so much to me."
Among the most treasured memories of her 22 years as Stetson's First Lady are the many close friendships that she and Doug shared with those who are sincerely committed to the university. She continues to be amazed at the extraordinary accomplishments of Stetson's students and is deeply touched that the Lee Day of Service has continued. This effort brings together students and alumni to share a day of community service projects in Doug's memory.
During this time of transition, Margaret has had to address many issues, including her estate plan. She is grateful for the planning that she and Doug did together prior to retirement, as she stated that it made it easier for her to make decisions.
When asked what she has learned during this difficult time, she replied "It's never too soon to start planning. It's important to think about what you want to accomplish. I have been fortunate to have support from my professional advisors and my two children, Gregory and Elizabeth. There's a real joy that comes from the feeling of accomplishment when your plan is successfully put in place."
Margaret is pleased to be able to continue her support for Stetson through annual gifts at The 1883 Society level and with her membership in The Stetson Society by naming the university as a beneficiary in her estate plan.
She is impressed with the ways in which President Libby is moving the university forward. "I am absolutely certain that Dr. Libby is the right person at the right time to lead Stetson." added Margaret. "And Wendy and Richard have been wonderfully supportive of me. I am truly grateful for their friendship."
Even though she misses Doug every day, Margaret is finding the strength to move forward. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, continues her involvement with the arts community in Volusia County and, of course, with her beloved Stetson University.
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