Pasadena Community Foundation Funds

Richard & Nancy Esbenshade Endowment

The Richard and Nancy Esbenshade Endowment is a PCF Endowment Builder Fund that supports organizations focusing on youth & education in the Pasadena area.

Richard and Nancy Esbenshade were married 63 years and spent more than 50 years together in Pasadena before Richard’s death in September, 2021 at the age of 92. An Ashland, Ohio native, Richard attended Stanford University and then served in the US Army before attending Harvard Law School on the G.I. Bill. Nancy attended Northwestern University and later the Simmons School of Social Work in Boston. Richard and Nancy were married in her hometown of Lima, Ohio in 1958, and soon moved to Los Angeles. Richard then began his career as an attorney, and in 1962, he helped start the firm of Munger, Tolles & Hills (now Munger, Tolles & Olson).

The couple eventually had five children, and each attended Pasadena public schools, with four of them graduating from Blair High School. Nancy was very involved in the PTA, and she and Richard actively supported the school yearbook and sports programs, among others.

As the children grew, Nancy spent many years serving as a City of Pasadena Field Representative for District 6 under Bill Bogaard and Bill Cathey. She was instrumental in helping establish the city’s recycling program. The couple travelled extensively, reaching all seven continents and countries too numerous to list. In 1990, the first of their 11 grandchildren arrived;  they loved visiting the children across the country and treating each to a solo-with-grandparents bonding trip.

The Esbenshades were world travelers. Here they are photographed in Hawaii.

Supporting charitable causes in the greater Pasadena area was a priority for Nancy and Richard, and they were especially committed to organizations that supported youth and education, including Pasadena Educational Foundation, Hillsides,  and Families Forward Learning Center. Their endowment with Pasadena Community Foundation will support grants to organizations in the greater Pasadena area whose missions are centered on youth and education.

The Power of Endowment
Endowments are the cornerstone of PCF’s mission to build hometown legacies. The corpus of each endowed fund is invested with PCF’s portfolio for long-term growth. Each year, the endowments generate the funds that support PCF’s local grantmaking, which enriches the arts community, protects our environment, provides health care and critical social services, and bolsters public education in Pasadena. Endowments are permanent legacies for our community; these funds will continue to grow and provide philanthropic support forever. Learn more about creating an endowment at PCF.

Created February 2022


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