William and Marion Sitterding

William and Marion Sitterding

Born to be Generous

On Dec. 31, 1979, Mrs. Marion W. Sitterding finalized a trust agreement to establish the William Sitterding Foundation in memory of her late husband. The Foundation was designed to benefit four charities in Richmond: Crippled Children’s Hospital (now Children’s Hospital Foundation); Church of Christ, Scientist, Nurse’s Association of Richmond, Virginia; Sheltering Arms Hospital, Richmond, Virginia; and Police Benevolent Association of Richmond, Virginia, which was unable to qualify and did not participate. Mr. Malcolm M. Christian, Esq., helped establish the trust at Virginia Trust Company and served as a trustee until the Foundation was closed in 2014.

“Marion Sitterding spent many hours considering many beneficial interests,” Mr. Christian remembered. “The four organizations were selected very carefully, and her hope was that the beneficiaries would remember that the gifts were made in memory and honor of her husband Billy.”

Mrs. Sitterding made a contribution to the fund of $50,000 with the intention that income would be distributed annually. In the years since, Children’s Hospital Foundation has received disbursements totaling nearly $1.2 million. As the sole surviving trustee, Mr. Christian chose to close the Foundation and disburse the remaining assets to the beneficiaries in Dec. 2014. Children’s Hospital Foundation’s share was $1 million, nearly doubling the total support received thanks to the Sitterdings’ generosity. The Church of Christ, Scientist and Sheltering Arms Hospital also received final distributions of $1 million each.

“Marion was just a very giving and generous person,” said Mr. Christian, who was born and raised in Richmond’s Ginter Park community and knew Mrs. Sitterding as his mother’s good friend. “I don’t think there was a selfish bone in her body. I was simply an instrument in her plan, and it is just by the grace of God that I have lived long enough to get the job done.”

The Sitterding family originally came to Richmond in the early 1880s. Mr. Sitterding’s passion was real estate, and he purchased, timbered, and sold large sections of real estate in Chesterfield and Henrico Counties and accumulated a large estate over his lifetime. With no children of their own, Mr. and Mrs. Sitterding turned their attention to charitable interests.

Mr. Christian continued, “It’s been a wonderful thing to see somebody take advantage of the gifts they were given and in turn provide benefits to others. It’s something that people ought to aspire to. Most people will never know who Billy and Marion Sitterding were, but they have and will continue to benefit from their generosity.”

Pictured above: Malcolm M. Christian, Esq., helped Marion W. Sitterding establish the William Sitterding Foundation in 1979 in honor of her late husband. From 1979 through 2014 when the Foundation was closed, Children’s Hospital Foundation received $2.2 million from the Sitterding’s generosity.

To learn more about including Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF) in your estate plans, please contact Chris Broughton-Spruill, President, CHF, at 804-228-5814 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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