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$9.3 million Ansley gift touches community forever

Ruby Ansley

Ruby Ansley

The Birmingham region will benefit forever from a $9.3 million bequest from the estate of Ruby S. Ansley, who died in early 2012 at the age of 94. This bequest, the largest permanent gift in our history, completes the circle in a relationship with Mrs. Ansley that dates back to a gift of real estate in 2006.

Professional advisor Wilmer Poynor III recalls the planning that went into his client’s decision to first establish an Advised Fund for lifetime giving and then make this significant bequest to support the work of the Community Foundation.

“By setting up the Ruby S. and John P. Ansley Fund, Mrs. Ansley was able to give to her favorite charities during her life and be confident in the expertise of the Community Foundation to follow her wishes after her death.  By establishing an Advised Fund that will one day become a Field of Interest Fund, she made sure that her interests would always be supported, no matter how the needs of the community change.”

Ruby and John Ansley (from family archives)

The fund that she established with a gift of real estate in 2006 will focus on the areas of health, human services and the visual and performing arts.  A portion of the bequest — $3 million out of the total $9.3 million — sets up a separate fund of the Community Foundation that is designated for scholarships and faculty compensation at Birmingham-Southern College, where the Ansleys both began their undergraduate studies.

“This significant estate gift, the largest permanent gift in our history, builds on the great partnership we had with Mrs. Ansley during her lifetime,” said Kate Nielsen, Community Foundation president.  “Ruby and John Ansley had great success in this community, and this bequest insures that  they will have a positive impact on this community forever. ”

Mrs. Ansley, who died in 2012 at age 94, founded the on-going and successful firm of Ruby Ansley Interiors, Inc. in 1963 and was a founding member of the Alabama Chapter of the American Design Institute of Decorators. Her husband John was a partner in Spain Gillon law firm prior to his death in 1997.

We acknowledged Mrs. Ansley for many years as a Community Builder and we thank her today for this great gift.  To find out more more, contact Erin Stephenson.

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