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carol beck - a donor's story

The Beck Family has ties to “Father Baker’s” that go back nearly 100 years and Carol Beck continues to maintain this legacy. After emigrating from Austria and the Czech Republic to Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, Carol’s grandparents passed away leaving the youngest of nine surviving children as orphans. In early 1922, brothers William (9 years old) and Charles (7 years old) entered St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Their sister Margaret, who was 12 at the time, entered another Catholic girls orphan home in the Buffalo area. Patrick (Carol’s father and age 5 at the time) spent one night with his brothers at Father Baker’s before being taken to live with his eldest sister Mary, and her husband John, a few blocks north of the orphanage in South Buffalo. “The siblings had frequent visits,” Carol notes, “being in such close proximity to one another.”

William was one of the first altar boys for Father Baker, and even served the first mass at the Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica on Christmas of 1925. Carol remembers hearing tales of her uncle playing in the orphanage’s band, which gave him the chance to get candy and extra change from those the band played for. “He, of course,” Carol says, “generously shared with his younger brothers Charles and Pat!”

Both William and Charles stayed at Father Baker’s until their high school graduation and eventually entered the U.S. Navy and served in World War II. William continued to live in Buffalo, NY, working for REA and retiring on Grand Island. Charles moved to California after the War and had a long career at Anheuser-Busch, retiring as a head brew master. Pat stayed in Buffalo for a time, working as the United States Post Office Station Clerk at the Grand Central Terminal, and joined many of his siblings in California in 1957. Carol described all three brothers as beloved and supportive fathers and spouses.

Carol has been aware of the Our Lady of Victory Organizations and Father Baker’s legacy since childhood. “I have been an active donor for over 40 years,” she says proudly. Although she lives and volunteers as a docent at a mission in southern California, she stays informed of the goings-on at the Organizations through the mailings and occasional visits. Her cousin Arnold (William’s son) lives in the Western New York area and the two maintain a close relationship.

Recently, Carol worked with her family’s long-time financial advisor to establish a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) using a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her condo. Placing assets from the sale of the condo into the CRUT provided a number of benefits, Carol says. “It decreased my income tax burden, provided an attractive six year charitable deduction feature, gives a moderate lifetime income, and provides a generous legacy gift to the Homes of Charity and my mission in California.

Charitable giving arrangements like the CRUT are useful tools for donors, who wish to make transformational contributions to Our Lady of Victory Homes of Charity. The income we receive from these gifts plays a crucial role in enabling us to provide support to those organizations within Our Lady of Victory on an annual basis, as well as provide maintenance and upkeep of the National Shrine and Basilica, which receives about 40,000 visitors annually from around the world. Please feel free to contact our Major Gifts and Planned Giving Department to request our Gift Planning Guide, which offers information on the CRUT and other wonderful ways to support the Homes of Charity.