Juliette Klein Sharpe felt truly blessed by her network of friends and her small community. “God takes care of fools and Julie” was something said often by the Skaneateles resident and retired 30-year employee with the telephone company. She invoked this phrase to express how lucky she felt and how grateful she was for the many ways that her friends and various local nonprofits had enriched her life.
Julie’s early age of retirement had afforded her the opportunity to pursue many volunteer activities, some of which related to her passion for the healing art of massage. She recalled the joy she felt when she was able to use massage to assist those suffering from illness and disease at organizations like Matthew House and Hospice of the Finger Lakes. In the many organizations where she gave her time, she maintained that she received as much from the interaction as those she was there to help.
A cancer diagnosis spurred Julie to think critically about the ways that she wanted to honor her friends and show appreciation for these organizations that impacted her so deeply. She chose to set aside a portion of her estate for charity. Sadly, Julie lost her battle with brain cancer in 2014 at the age of 72. Her thoughtful planning, though, allowed her to leave behind a legacy of generosity that we will use to carry out her charitable wishes in perpetuity.
Her plan designated specific charities to share equally in the funds available each year from the Juliette Klein Sharpe Fund. Julie’s many interests and passion for her Skaneateles community came through in the breadth of organizations that she selected to receive support from her fund. From hospice care to history, she took care to reflect on the many places she had volunteered or benefitted from service to make sure that those organizations were included.
“The Community Foundation is proud to extend the reach of Julie’s charitable spirit far into the future,” said Jennifer Owens, former senior vice president and chief development officer at the Community Foundation. “We feel honored that she chose us as the home of her legacy and will do our best to be faithful stewards of her generosity.”