Health Care, Human Resources, and Nonprofits

Estate gives $2M to foundation fund

August 5, 2015
Text Size:
Jack Lukens
Jack Lukens. Courtesy Grand Rapids Community Foundation

An estate has bequeathed more than $2 million to a fund managed by a local foundation.

The fund

Grand Rapids Community Foundation said last week that the estate of the late Dr. Jack Lukens and his late wife, Katy Lukens, has granted the funds to The Dr. Jack and Katy Lukens Fund, a Donor Advised Fund at the foundation.

The fund now totals more than $3 million, making it one of the foundation’s top Donor Advised Funds and its largest fund established by a physician.

The endowment will allow the fund to “continue in perpetuity.”

The fund will become unrestricted after the death of the last successor advisor and always use the name of its founders, the Lukens.

With a Donor Advised Fund, the foundation manages the assets and administers the fund, so the family “can focus on making grants to support organizations they care about,” said Marilyn Zack, VP of development, Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

The Lukens’ adult children will advise on the grants.


Before Jack Lukens passed away in March, the fund supported local arts organizations and national health and education nonprofits.

“My parents deeply cared about family, friends, our community and dad’s patients,” said the couple’s son, David Lukens. “It is not surprising to learn that their generous gift was substantial and also unique among physicians. It is wonderful that they will be remembered through this fund, but more importantly, that it will greatly impact people within our community.

“I encourage other physicians, medical professionals and all who wish to help our community to contact Grand Rapids Community Foundation for assistance.”

The Lukens’ daughter, Janet Dietsch, added that her parents “cared about their family, their friends and others.”

“That is why my dad took the time to listen to his patients, why my mom visited people in the nursing home and why they made donations to organizations that support education, health, the arts and housing,” Dietsch said. 

Pioneering practice

The couple, originally from Vincennes, Ind., settled in Grand Rapids in 1956 when Jack Lukens opened an internal medicine and gastroenterology practice.

At the time, he was the only gastroenterologist in the community and served as president of the Kent County Medical Society. 

Recent Articles by Mike Nichols

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus