Donor Stories

For The Lord’s Work

Donor’s Passion Supports Union’s Students Through His Estate

Alfred Pancake (1917-2009) demonstrated his support of Adventist education by traveling around the world to visit Adventist schools, meeting with students and paying their tuition.  Alfred felt strongly about helping individuals get a Christian education so he made plans to help students till the end of time while still caring for the ones he loved.

Les Jensen, co-executor of Alfred’s estate, explains, “Alfred wanted to give something back.  He wanted his estate to go to the Lord’s work.”

Les shares how Alfred enjoyed proclaiming his love for Jesus Christ.  “At a family wedding,” Les recalls, “Alfred got the microphone and spoke these words: ‘The Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior, and the only reason I have what I have is because of Him.’”

Alfred attended only one class at Union College, in the summer of 1960, but he greatly admired the spiritual focus found on Union’s campus as well as the other Adventist schools he visited.

After serving his country in the Army Air Corp during World War II, Alfred dedicated his life to farming and grew crops that few other farmers attempted to grow.  “Alfred grew all kinds of strange crops and grew food organically when everyone else was using chemicals,” Les says.  Some examples of Alfred’s unusual crops were millet (a tiny grain commonly used in bird seeds), triga (a perennial wheatgrass) and blue corn.

Over the years, Alfred acquired land in Kansas and Colorado, and also homesteaded in Canada to receive land from the Queen of England.  “Alfred was very frugal,” Les remembers, “and he managed to hold all the land together for many years.”

Having land in two states and two countries could have made settling Alfred’s estate very difficult without proper planning.  Even though Alfred wanted his estate to go to support Adventist education, he didn’t want to leave out his family members.  In order to accomplish all of his goals, Alfred set up a living trust to own his land.

When Alfred died, his trust split in two.  The land in Colorado and Canada remained in the original trust to be sold and the proceeds given to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists where Alfred had set up a donor advised fund to disburse a percentage of the funds each year to three educational institutions:  Union College, Campion Academy and Holbrook Indian School.

The land in Kansas was placed in a separate trust for his family’s benefit for as long as they are alive.  Upon their death, the land will be sold and the proceeds put into the donor advised fund.

By setting up the trust, Alfred has continued to pay for students’ tuition and helped them get the kind of education he so firmly believed in.  In three years, Alfred’s trust has already helped 39 students at Union.  JoyAndra Dunlap, one of the recipients of Alfred’s scholarship, expressed her appreciation.  “This scholarship has been a Godsend!”  JoyAndra says.  “Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to come back to Union; I would have had to stay home.”

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Originally published in Union College’s ForeSight Planned Giving Newsletter Fall 2014

If you would like any assistance with your estate planning needs, please contact the Planned Giving & Trust Services Department of your conference.  You may find contact information for The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada and The USA by clicking on “Contact Us” above.