Posted by: Kallie Sulanke on Sep/27/2017

GIVING IN THIS LIFETIME AND BEYOND

Anyone who knew Dr. Herbert Hamilton describes him as someone with a generous spirit who served the community in a variety of ways and with endless enthusiasm. He was a World War II veteran. An educator. A historian. And a man who was deeply loyal to his hometown of Eaton, Indiana, where he spent most of his life.

It was this same loyalty that prompted him to create two separate funds through The Community Foundation — one that was established during his lifetime and one that was dispersed through his estate. In both instances, he sought to benefit the organizations that he believed provided the greatest value. He was also heavily influenced by his good friend, Beulah Book, who was also an educator and humanitarian.

“Even though Herb and Bea never married, they were partners in every other way,” says Catharine Stewart, who served as Hamilton’s CPA for many years. “I know they both felt a great sense of satisfaction in how Herb’s assets would be used.”

The Herbert H. Hamilton Charitable Fund was established as a donor advised fund during Hamilton’s lifetime, and following Book’s death in 2009, it became a designated fund to benefit the Eaton Library. Having served as a teacher and assistant principal at Burris and a pre-law and government professor at Ball State, Hamilton was passionate about education. “He wanted to help the library sustain itself and grow,” explains Stewart.

In fact, Hamilton was one of the original donors who helped establish the Eaton Public Library, and because the facility doesn’t receive tax dollars, he realized the financial struggles it could potentially face.

“The money from that fund is so important in helping us keep going,” says Peggy Simmons, one of the volunteers at the library. “This is one of the few educational facilities that we have for the kids outside of the school system, and we feel it’s vital to their growth and development.” But just like any other building, the library needs upkeep. This past winter, the library’s furnace went out, and it will soon need a new roof and new carpeting. The endowment Hamilton created helps the library afford these expenses.

"By utilizing The Community Foundation to create these funds, Herb and Bea knew that their wishes would be honored forever and the groups they wanted to help would always benefit from their gift."

The second fund was established through Hamilton’s will and took effect when he passed away in 2000. The charitable remainder trust provided income for Book during the rest of her lifetime and was transferred to the Foundation when she passed away. It then became a designated fund whose primary beneficiary was the Smithsonian Institute, honoring Hamilton’s love of history and his strong belief that the nation’s heritage should be preserved.



The remainder of the fund’s income is split evenly among The Children’s Museum, Meals on Wheels, the Salvation Army, Muncie Mission, Delaware County 4-H Clubs, and the Hoosier Heartland Chapter of the Red Cross.

Stewart explains, “By utilizing The Community Foundation to create these funds, Herb and Bea knew that their wishes would be honored forever and the groups they wanted to help would always benefit from their gift.”

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