John and Elrose Pearson: A passion for giving

Approaching his 94th birthday, John Pearson is a champion giver.

By Doug Smith/CWS with assistance by Jeane Pennebacker

John Pearson
John Pearson
Photo courtesy John Pearson

Approaching his 94th birthday, John Pearson is a champion giver. Not only have John and his wife, Elrose (deceased in 2001), been annual contributors to Church World Service's ecumenical humanitarian aid programs, during their 63 years of marriage they also completed three gift plans, which will ultimately benefit Church World Service's long-term endowment.

With their children and grandchildren named to receive the bulk of assets held by the Pearson Living Trust, the couple also wanted to leave their offspring a "legacy of values" to live by. That legacy is expressed by the gifts to church and charity in a "tithed" portion of the Living Trust.

In addition to being included as a charitable beneficiary of the Pearson Living Trust, Church World Service is also named in one of their two Charitable Remainder Unitrusts. Created with appreciated securities during their lifetime together, the Unitrusts now continue to pay income to John.

Thirteen years of service on the Endowment Board of the United Methodist Conference of Nevada and Northern California helped John realize the advantages of tax-wise planned giving and the importance of long-term endowment for churches and non-profits in general. On the bookshelf in his study appear titles such as Plan Your Estate and The Essentials of Estate Planning.

Following their retirement thirty years ago, John from the State Public Utilities Commission as Principal Engineer for Transportation and Elrose as a Library Specialist with the San Leandro School District, the Pearsons enjoyed traveling and serving on numerous committees of their congregation and the Conference. They also remained great supporters of the Wesley Foundation at Cal Berkeley, where they met as undergraduates.

The third gift plan of the Pearsons designed to benefit Church World Service is the Charitable Gift Annuity created a few years before Elrose Pearson's passing. The Two Life Annuity also provides John income and helps ensure, along with the other two gift plans, that the Pearsons will continue their giving to Church World Service for a long time to come.

Learn more about planned giving opportunities with CWS.


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