Good works from a hard life

August 28, 2013

Zabelle Howard Beard was one of those colorful Baltimore characters, a principled and occasionally litigious woman who tangled with the telephone company, her landlord, and anyone else who failed to measure up to her standards. She worked as an administrative assistant for the state of Maryland and outlived her only daughter and her second husband from her late-life marriage.

Her estate attorney, Stan Klinefelter, knew Beard for many years and, over time, assembled a nuanced impression of his client. “She had terrible go-rounds that alienated her from many people,” he admits. “But when you got through all of that, you understood that she basically was a nice, if lonely, person who wanted to do good things.” 

That’s where her story takes a distinctly affirmative turn. “She decided to help people,” Klinefelter says, “and I suggested the Baltimore Community Foundation, which is so good at leveraging money. She looked into it and felt it was a good choice.”

Thus, 70 percent of Beard’s estate came to BCF to establish two field-of-interest funds: The E. Read and Zabelle Howard Beard Fund, a bequest to assist homeless individuals in Baltimore City, and The Mary Patricia Howard Lang Fund, named for her daughter, to benefit children’s programs.  “Zabelle was very positive about the gift to the Community Foundation,” Klinefelter says. “She knew it would do some good.”

At BCF, we have lots of options for your giving, and we can help you create a plan that fits your unique situation. Click here to explore the possibilities. 


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