Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

August 27, 2012

Foundation receives $125M from estate

ELKHART — Out of one man’s death comes the chance to provide many opportunities for the residents of Elkhart County, according to a press release from the Elkhart County Community Foundation.

The foundation was named one of the primary benefactors of the estate of global businessman Guy David Gundlach. Gundlach, 56, who died in Malibu, Calif., in October 2011.

“While we grieve David’s premature death, we are honored David chose the Elkhart County Community Foundation as the conduit of his gift to the people of Elkhart County,” foundation president Pete McCown said in a press release.

The foundation began to receive transfer of the first amount of funds Aug. 16, McCown said. The initial transfer is for just over $114 million, and, once property transfer is complete, will be approximately $125 million, McCown estimated in the release.

“We’ve known for a number of years that were named one of the primary beneficiaries,” McCown said in an interview Wednesday. The foundation did not know the extent of Gundlach’s estate, however.

“This is the largest donation in the history of the organization... There are a myriad of possibilities for the funds,” McCown said.

Liz Borger, who served as Gundlach’s estate representative, said he loved Elkhart and the surrounding communities. Gundlach attended Elkhart Memorial High School, graduating in 1973.

“He had an extremely hearty laugh,” Borger said. “He loved to celebrate life, and he loved good discussions and conversation. He’s always had a history of being charitable.”

Gundlach attended Chapman College, graduating in 1979 with a degree in history, according to the press release. Gundlach worked for IBM briefly, but saw major business success with Hastings Direct, a direct insurance company he launched in Hastings, England, according to his obituary. He eventually sold the company, moved to Los Angeles and created a movie production company.

His first production was for the 2009 film “Get Low,” starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray, among others, according to the Internet Movie Database. The film

Gundlach was also fond of golf, and he belonged to two golf clubs in Elkhart, according to Borger.

“The Fourth of July was a big deal to him,” Borger said. “He always returned to Elkhart for it, to Elcona Country Club for their fireworks.”

Gundlach’s mother, Marge Swift, still lives in the area, Borger said. She was one of his “great devotions,” Borger said.

“He lost his dad at a young age, and his brother when he was 11,” Borger explained. “She’s still alive here, and she’s proud of him. She knew he was successful, but no one knew to what degree.”

Swift said, in a statement released by Borger, that Gundlach decided to give his estate to the foundation because “he was happiest here.”

“We were buddies,” Swift said. “We had so much fun together. He had two homes in Elkhart, yet he still loved to stay with me. I took him breakfast in bed!”

With the additional funds, the Elkhart County Community Foundation’s funds per capita in Elkhart County rivals some of the biggest in the country, including the Lilly Endowment.

“When the history of Elkhart County is told in 20, 30 and 40 years from now, people will tell of many chapters... We added a new chapter this week, of a global citizen who grew up in the community and wanted to have a charitable legacy.”

Even with all the excitement, the foundation members cannot begin spending these funds on projects quite yet, according to McCown. The funds must be held for one year before they can be spent, according to foundation stipulations.

“I would not have anticipated a gift this size,” McCown said. “Ultimately, this gift is David’s gift to the people of Elkhart County.”

For more information on the Elkhart County Community Foundation, visit www.elkhartccf.org.

Text Only
Local News
  • GN140425 brad rogers and bundy 02.jpg Elkhart County Sheriff Rogers says he wasn't present for Nevada rancher's race remarks

    GOSHEN — Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers, who traveled to Nevada this past weekend as a show of support for rancher Cliven Bundy’s well-publicized dispute with the federal government, said he was not present when Bundy made controversial comments about the feds and “the Negro” during a gathering Easter Saturday at Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nev. about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140424 Emma1 Pioneer Drama Troupe to perform 'Emma' Emma has a gift for getting people together — or so she thinks. Pride and matchmaking gone awry are key to Jane Austen’s “Emma,” which will be brought to theatrical life this weekend by the Pioneer Drama Troupe.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140423 west goshen dress code 04 West Goshen dress code policy unveiled GOSHEN — Solid color shirts with collars and two to four buttons are the proposed changes for students at Goshen Elementary School with a standardized dress code policy this fall.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video