A Legacy of Unending Compassion

Tillie Ripley

Tillie Ripley laughing

Matilda (Tillie) Ripley was born on June 13, 1920, just weeks before women in the United States gained the right to vote. She died on October 20, 2021, just a few weeks shy of getting to see the first female vice president elected in the United States. Tillie often reflected on everything she had seen in her lifetime: the Depression, World War II, the first man on the moon.

Tillie liked people, and liked to champion those who didn’t have a voice. When she was a girl, this meant standing up for her youngest brother, who had developmental disabilities. Even at 100, Tillie had a passion for justice.

“She always wanted to learn more about the world and the community — and where she could make a difference,” said her daughter, Susan Christensen. In 2008, Tillie turned to MCF to help her make that difference.

Today, the Matilda Ripley Loving Trust Fund supports a wide range of organizations, from YWCA of Madison to the Southern Poverty Law Center. While Tillie gave to organizations across the nation, she really liked working with MCF to support local groups — helping right here where she lived.

“She liked to see the benefit of her donations all around her,” Susan shared. Tapping into MCF’s knowledge of the organizations working in Madison, and its understanding of nonprofits overall, helped her feel secure that she was making the best decisions with her giving.

Susan is the successor of the Loving Trust. She worked with her mom before she died to make suggestions about groups that might be working in her areas of interest. Susan plans to use the fund to keep Tillie’s legacy of unending support for others alive.

Leaving a planned gift? Let us know and join our Legacy Society.