Chrystal Johnson and Karen Lang are sisters who have lived in the Pasadena area for more than 40 years. In 2022, they established a memorial donor-advised endowment for their parents at the Pasadena Community Foundation. The Charles & Geraldine Todd Endowment for Community & the Arts honor the Todds’ long lives and their passions for arts education and community enrichment.
From the Midwest to the West
Charles Todd was born in Kansas in 1915. Geraldine was also born in Kansas but was raised in Des Moines, Iowa. Following her high school graduation, she moved to Chicago. Around 1937, she joined her mother and siblings in LA. She met Charles there in 1948 as he was attending the University of Southern California on the G.I. Bill and working toward completing his Master’s degree in fine arts. They married in 1950 and settled down in Tucson, Arizona, where Karen and Chrystal were born and grew up.
Charles was an art teacher with the Tucson Public School District for his entire career. He started his work with middle school students and later moved to high school arts instruction. The sisters remember Geraldine as dedicated to community work. She was a charter member of the Links, Incorporated chapter in Tucson. Charles was also very involved in the community organizations, including his fraternity, the NAACP, and Tucson Big Brothers.
A History of Working with PCF
Geraldine Todd passed away at the age of 90 in 2006, and Charles Todd passed in 2021 at the age of 105 after spending his final years living in Pasadena with Chrystal. Karen and Chrystal wanted a long-term, sustainable way to honor the lives and work of their parents and liked the idea of supporting young people who want to pursue an arts education or who have interest in community organizations. To that end, the sisters created the Charles & Geraldine Todd Endowment for Community & the Arts in November 2022.
Chrystal explains that she and Karen turned to PCF to create their donor-advised endowment because she had previous experience with the Foundation through an endowment for Pasadena Altadena Community Endowment Fund (PACEF), an organization she is involved with. She goes on to explain that her husband had established a fund, the Edward & Barbara Johnson Endowment for Education and Community, in honor of his parents. “We’ve had very good experiences with PCF and know that they’re a good organization. They’ve done a great job in helping build funds with people in order to help them do more in the community.”
Donor-advised endowments serve as an alternative to establishing a family foundation by simplifying the administration. The corpus of the fund is pooled in the PCF investment portfolio for long-term growth. PCF calculates the annual payout for grants, and the donor decides how that annual amount will be awarded to nonprofit organizations.
Created November 2022