Leaving a Legacy: The Chandler Family Trust

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Mary Jon and Glenn Chandler

When Mary Jon went on a road trip with her girlfriends who were headed to Fort Collins, Colo., to enroll at Colorado State University, she had no idea she would meet her soulmate "She came out for a visit and went home engaged," says her daughter, Suanne.

Mary Jon and Glenn "Spud" Chandler were married in 1947, just two years after Spud graduated from CSU with a major in animal husbandry. His degree served him well in taking care of the family farm, but farming was no stranger to him. Spud had been running the family farm in Johnstown, Colo., since the age of 12, after losing his dad in a hunting accident.

Spud was not only actively involved with the family farm; he also owned a local ready-mix concrete business with his son, Tom. According to his family, it was the business that allowed them to keep the farm, and purchase another farm near Wellington, Colo. Mary Jon, who taught elementary school in North Carolina before meeting Spud, became an active volunteer in the Fort Collins community and supported the family in numerous ways, especially with her wonderful cooking.

Next to agriculture, the Chandlers loved the CSU Rams. Attending football and basketball games was a favorite family activity. It was only natural when Spud retired that they would invest in the family's two greatest passions – agriculture and sports. In 2001, the Chandlers set up a lead trust that established two scholarships – one for agricultural sciences and another for CSU athletics. With the lead trust, the Chandlers set aside certain assets, and the income from those assets will be paid to CSU for 15 years to support the two scholarships. At the end of the 15 years, the assets will be returned to the Chandler children at reduced transfer tax costs.

Although Spud died only a year after setting up the Chandler Family Trust, Mary Jon stayed actively involved with CSU and their scholarship recipients for many years until she died in 2009. Her genuine relationship with each of them was a true testament to the heart of giving.