Planting Seeds for Future Generations

Anne Iwata's Legacy

Anne and Darren

Many of Anne Iwata’s early memories revolve around music and libraries: Gathering as a family to sing while mother played piano. Listening to Louis Armstrong and Dixieland jazz with her father. Deepening her connection to music through dance – tap specifically. Going to the grocery store with her mother and sister and a red wagon. Exploring the world through books.

Anne’s husband, Darren Stucker, shared her love of music – and they enjoyed experiencing music in many ways, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for a joyous annual reunion of Darren’s college friends, some of whom have been going for 40 years.

Anne and Darren believed in being kind and doing the right thing, working for social justice, maintaining friendships and living life to its fullest every day. They liked to host parties and friends at their home. They originally met at the airport in Madison, and traveled the world together.

Anne and Darren felt fortunate to live in Madison and always gave and intended to give back to help foster things that brought them so much fun and happiness.

Creating a Legacy With Intention

After Darren died, Anne decided on her legacy giving. “Going through probate and settling an estate gives you a different perspective about what you want your legacy to be and how you want your money to be used,” Anne shared.

Anne created the Anne Iwata and Darren Stucker Fund for Music Education and the Anne Iwata and Darren Stucker Fund (for libraries) at MCF to honor the values she and Darren shared and the causes that were important to them. She originally created the funds as part of an estate legacy plan but decided to fund them during her lifetime.

A Way to Remember, and to Share

Anne hiking

Darren was a filmmaker whose big dream was to win the lottery and start a foundation to produce videos on causes he was passionate about. “Philanthropy became more important to me after Darren died, because it is a way to remember him. It’s rewarding to watch the funds grow and be distributed. I want people to have access to the things that were important to Darren and me.”

“Darren’s production company was called Appleseed Productions,” Anne explained. “Starting the funds was like planting the seeds, and now distributions sprout opportunities for children at the libraries or next generation musicians.”

Watch Anne share her story here.

Learn how to start a fund at MCF.