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Bequest Stories

If you want to leave a legacy that perpetuates your values and passions, you can make a charitable bequest to The Nature Conservancy. When you name the Conservancy in your will or estate plan, you may receive significant estate tax savings while retaining control of your assets during your lifetime. Best of all, with a bequest, you make a lasting gift to protect the natural places you care about. And it is easy to make a bequest to The Nature Conservancy.

Lucille Stickel’s lifelong passion was nature and conservation. When it was time to plan for the future, she took the simple steps to name the Conservancy in her will. Like Lucille, when you make a gift through your estate, you make a lasting impact on our lands and waters and help ensure the future of conservation.  

Choosing a Bequest: Their Story

Lucille Stickel was first and foremost a scientist, a passion she shared with her husband William. They understood from experience how everything in nature is connected so they felt strongly about protecting it. That is why they chose to leave a charitable bequest to The Nature Conservancy. Through a combination of a frugal life and smart investing, they were able to leave a significant gift.

“They lived what they worked and believed,” says their niece Carol Frederick. “And they were able to leave a legacy that truly represented them.”

Lucille was never one to tout her accomplishments, even though she was a pioneer in wildlife toxicology, the first woman to achieve senior scientist status at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the only woman to receive the Wildlife Society’s coveted Aldo Leopold Memorial Award. Her early research on environmental contaminants, especially on the harmful effects of the pesticide DDT, was the basis of much of Rachel Carson’s famous book “Silent Spring.”

A dedicated and determined researcher, Lucille worked side-by-side with William at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland for four decades. She also served as the Center’s director for almost ten years. Growing up, Lucille could always be found outdoors exploring, swimming or climbing—she even climbed on top of nearly every roof in her small town. Her sister, Enid Frederick, recalls how that determination and courage got Lucille to college and beyond.

“She knew from the beginning—even as a 7th grader—that she wanted to get an education and she stuck with it, even when the Depression came and she had to work like everybody else,” Enid says.

It was in graduate school that she met William and together their research at Patuxent would change the face of wildlife toxicology. They continued their busy lives long into retirement, classifying plants and animals and hiking the hills of North Carolina with the dogs they had so adored throughout their lives. Thanks to their vision, the work and passion that defined them will live on in the bequest gift they so carefully planned.


Information that may interest you ...

Find out more about making a gift through your will.

Read about other donors who have made a gift through their will.

Have you made a gift through your estate plan? Please let us know.

You can protect lakes and other natural places by making a planned gift with The Nature Conservancy. Contact us today.

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