Pasadena Community Foundation Funds

The Rachel Lisa Stocker Endowment

Rachel Lisa Stocker was born in Pasadena in 1971 and lived with her parents, Les and Pamela, and three sisters near Eaton Canyon. The girls attended High Point Academy and had a happy, carefree childhood. Rachel loved school and was an “A” student. She studied piano and flute and had a penchant for writing poetry.

As Rachel approached her thirteenth birthday, doctors discovered an inoperable brain tumor, a condition called astrocytoma. Her surgeons believed she had perhaps only months to live. However, with the steadfast support of her family caregivers, she lived for seven and a-half years, through multiple surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and other related procedures.

Rachel died at the age of 20 in 1991, and friends and family showered her family with heartfelt love. Several trees were planted in her memory, including a beautiful tulip tree planted near the main entrance to High Point Academy. Others were planted in places of importance to the family.

“A Living Memorial” 
Since 2014, Rachel’s father, Les, has been an instrumental member of PCF’s Board of directors. Last November, Les learned from Mariver Copeland, the Foundation’s CFO, that he could use a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) check from he and Pamela’s IRAs to create an endowment. The couple created the Rachel Lisa Stocker Endowment, which will support the areas of Human Services (which includes homelessness services, seniors, and adults with disabilities) and Youth & Education. They will use two $5,000 gift – from their RMDs – over two calendar years. The family plans to continue contributing to the endowment annually and have also created a bequest to ensure their perpetual support.

“We could not think of a better way to have a living memorial to Rachel. While the trees planted in her name are beautiful and meaningful, they just stand there. But with this perpetual endowment, the proceeds year-by-year will go to enriching the lives of living people.”

Les and Pamela Stocker, parents of Rachel Lisa Stocker

Created December 2022

A Creative Way to Use an IRA Required Minimum Distribution
Les and Pamela Stocker used their IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to create an endowment with PCF in honor of their daughter. In retirement, the IRS requires you to withdraw a certain amount – your RMD – each year whether you need the funds or not, and you pay income tax on every distribution. However, you can utilize your RMD to direct a gift to benefit charitable causes and reduce your tax burden at the same time. Certain rules apply: Read more here or contact Jennifer DeVoll at (626) 796-2097 ext. 101 or

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