Modest beginnings laid the foundation for Ray and Linda Straub’s lives. By working hard and being thoughtful with their spending, the pair had everything they needed while still maintaining a portion they could set aside for the charities that they care about.
Like many wonderful love stories, Ray and Linda were college sweethearts. They met at their alma mater, SUNY Oswego, graduated in 1971, and married in 1973. After marrying, their career paths began to take shape. Linda, originally from Long Island, spent much of her professional life in administration at Syracuse University. Ray, who hails from Syracuse, began his career as a middle school teacher at Most Holy Rosary.
Ray’s career would later shift to focus on financial planning when he was offered a position selling life insurance.
“I didn’t know anything about insurance sales but the opportunity to learn was exciting,” Ray remembered. “I only knew the names of maybe two insurance companies at the time.”
Knowing little about the field didn’t stop Ray. He started at Mass Mutual as a professional advisor and spent the next 40 years utilizing his teaching skills to help others build their wealth and protect themselves with a wide variety of financial solutions.
As an advisor, Ray learned that there are three places your money can go during your lifetime and through the legacy you leave after you’re gone: to taxes, people you care about and your community. That’s why he and Linda decided to support several community organizations through a fund at the Community Foundation, while also setting money aside for their heirs.
The couple is creating their fund using qualified charitable distributions from their IRAs and have chosen several organizations to give to through their fund year after year. This funding will continue in perpetuity, ensuring a lasting legacy of support for the community where they began their lives together.
“Keeping resources here so charitable organizations can continue doing their good work is important to us,” said Linda. “That was one of the main reasons we opened our fund at the Community Foundation.”
Through their fund, Ray and Linda will support the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse Stage, the United Way of Central New York, Onondaga Historical Association, Vera House, the Food Bank of CNY, Hospice of CNY and SUNY Oswego.
The Straubs like both the convenience of their fund and the long-term aspect of their giving. “The Community Foundation is going to be here a lot longer than we are,” said Ray. “It feels good to know that what we’ve set up will continue under the professional guidance of the Community Foundation staff.”
Ray and Linda, now in retirement and married for 48 years, are enjoying themselves. Ray added, “We continue to really enjoy each other’s company when we’re together.”