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Quiet Life. Community Heart.

Carl Orton lived a quiet, honorable life. Born in 1914, he served his country in WWII and then worked for Brunswick for forty years, while living at the YMCA at Third and Clay until it closed in the 1980s. Material things didn’t matter to him: he never owned property, had few possessions, no phone or TV. But he did like to travel and visited 49 states by car. He pored over every inch of the newspaper and loved to talk about current events. As Linda Kaare, his attorney, noted, “he lived his beliefs of practicality and not being wasteful, and paid attention to his community.”

When Mr. Orton passed away ten years ago, he gave a wonderful gift to our community: the majority of his estate, totaling over $1.4 million, was left to the Foundation to establish an Unrestricted Fund. Flexible to meet changing needs and opportunities, this fund has granted over $339,000 back to the community to support everything from adult literacy and fresh food access at the Farmers Market, to the redevelopment of a shuttered school into affordable housing.