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123 S. Durbin St.

Casper, WY 82601, USA

+1 (307) 265-5200

© Episcopal Church in  Wyoming, 2021

Gary and Linda Hudson, Trinity - Lander

Rev. Linda and Gary Hudson have been members of Trinity Church, Lander, for many, many years – decades, in fact. Gary’s grandmother, Eleanor Jones, came to the Lander valley during the 1940s and joined the Trinity Church congregation quickly becoming a recognized, church leader. Her daughter, Betty Hudson, Gary’s mother, was Church Secretary for many years. In the meantime, Gary was busy, himself, becoming a trusted and passionate church member, serving on the vestry, graduating from Education for Ministry (EFM) among other things. Linda met Gary after making the move to Lander in 1978 to teach. In 1979 she became the Executive Director of Creative Children’s Services, now Child Development Services. Gary was getting Community Entry Services off the ground at the time. The two found themselves attending meetings in common – meetings having to do with State funding, generally – and had friends in common (some, of course, at church!) They were destined to be together. After 20 years of marriage Gary met an untimely death in 2006. Trinity Church then received a call from the Life Insurance Company Gary worked with and learned that Gary, many years earlier, had taken out a life insurance policy naming Trinity Church, Lander, as the only beneficiary. He had paid those premiums for years knowing he would, in death, accomplish three things: first, he would give back to God at least a percentage of all God had given him; second, he would honor the memory of both his mother and his grandmother and all they did for the church; third, he would honor his wife, Linda, and the role she has taken on at Trinity; and fourth, he would help continue to fund the good work of Trinity Church, Lander, long after his death.

Lynna Wells, Christ Church - Cody

Lynna Drake Wells was born in 1918 in Cumby, Texas and went to Brantley-Draughn College in Fort Worth. She married Clint G. Wells in 1950 and moved to Cody where both worked for Glenn Nielson’s Husky Oil Company. Lynna was an active, outdoors woman teaching Hatha yoga and basic ballet skiing at Sleeping Giant Ski Area. She was a generous communitarian most noted for beginning a PEO Chapter D scholarship fund for Cody High School students. Clint preceded Lynna in death in 1989. They had no children. Christ Episcopal Church congregant Mel McGee, a friend of Clint and Lynna, took it upon himself to visit various residents of the Cody community, particularly those who had no heirs, to talk about the value of Christ Church to various human service organizations in the community. Lynna was one of those persons with whom Mel visited. Knowing Lynna planned to continue to direct financial assets to the PEO scholarship fund, Mel encouraged Lynna to leave the contents of her house to the Episcopal Church. She did just that realizing that such an arrangement would not only provide for her community in perpetuity, but that her legacy would be honored. Lynna bequeathed the entire contents of her house on Sheridan Avenue to Christ Church, Cody. The proceeds from the sale of those possessions added significantly to the church’s permanent endowment fund from which distributions are made each year to deserving community programs.

Rev. Daphne Grimes, Thomas the Apostle Center

Leaving a gift in her will for Thomas the Apostle Center (TAC) is actually the culmination of a series of planned gifts Rev. Daphne Grimes was thoughtful to establish during her life. First, in the late 1980s, Daphne took out a life insurance policy which listed ten charitable organizations which, as primary beneficiaries, split evenly the death benefit of the policy. Next, Daphne donated a conservation easement on substantial acreage just outside the Cody city limits so as to leave permanently undisturbed the quiet and open character of the entrances to her town and to TAC. Daphne’s intent in both of these instances was to care for the communities which have cared for her; to give back to God a percentage of what God gave her. With the same kind of care in mind, but focused, perhaps, more on the future health and sustainability of TAC, in 2007 Daphne donated to the Foundation for the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming (FEDW) the land and buildings which make up TAC. In concert with that gift, she contributed a major gift to FEDW, creating an endowment fund whose annual earnings are restricted for TAC. Daphne reflected quietly and seriously about her work, and about her planned gifts: “I wanted to be a good steward of the gracious gifts I’ve had, thanks to God, throughout my life. It’s important to manage thoughtfully and creatively what we have. I understand not everyone can do that. Some live much too close to the line to give in this way. And that’s o.k. People give what they can. But if you’ve been blessed as I feel I have, let’s bless others by returning our gifts so as to continue God’s work in the world.”

Rev. Mary Caucutt and Casey Horton, Christ Church - Cody

Election to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming inspired Rev. Mary Caucutt to further understand planned giving, especially the planned gifts which currently fuel the grant-making of the Foundation. She realized that if any permanent assets – church endowments or Foundation assets -- are really going to grow, more planned gifts must be cultivated. “I was new on the Foundation board,” she explains. “I thought, I can’t encourage others to do something I am not committed to do myself. I talked to Casey and we decided to make St. Andrew’s in the Pines and Christ Church Cody the primary beneficiaries of a little, traditional IRA that I funded in my twenties. It wasn’t for five or six more years that we actually got around to making a real will with our attorney. I wanted to make a planned gift right away and changing the IRA beneficiaries was the quickest way to do that.” “I am happy to talk to anyone about planned giving – but Casey and I don’t have huge capacity nor do we understand complex giving instruments,” she says. Mary and Casey did something anyone can do without having to visit an attorney. They received the “change of beneficiary” paperwork from the custodian of their IRA, they changed the beneficiaries to the two churches they love, and they mailed it back to the custodian. Done. Christ Church, Cody, and St. Andrew’s in the Pines, Pinedale, will someday benefit from that thoughtful, prayerful arrangement. Such a “change of beneficiary” can be done with insurance policies, bank accounts, and, of course, as in the case of Rev. Mary Caucutt and Casey Horton, an IRA.


In 2013, while visiting a small town in Wyoming whose Episcopal church was trying very hard to raise money to offset the cost of positioning a part-time priest, I came across a donor who wanted very much to give to the effort. This person had inherited quite a bit of one company’s stock, and all those certificates had very low cost bases. As we did the math, the donor fretted that selling the stock to create a gift for the church seemed absolutely impossible since so much money would be lost to capital gains taxes. We called a tax attorney to make very sure that gifting the stock certificates themselves was not only possible, but would eliminate any capital gains taxes. Indeed, transferring the stock by wire to the church resulted in a gift of the full value of the stock, and no capital gains taxes were levied to the donor. That donor has continued to gift stock in that way helping not only the Episcopal church, but dozens of charitable causes in that small, Wyoming community.


Giving in Action

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