Why We Give: Ron and Claire
Naming the Garden in an Estate Plan Makes Sense at Any Age

Claire and Ron Andracsek 
Ron and Claire Andracsek

More than 30 years after she moved to St. Louis, Claire Andracsek still remembers the vivid contrast between her tiny city apartment and the 97-acre family home she left behind in New York. Fortunately, it didn’t take her long to discover the Missouri Botanical Garden.

“I was smitten,” Claire says. “It was so nice to
go to a place with green grass and beautiful flowers—and you didn’t have to do any of the work!”

Claire became a member of the Garden within six months of her arrival in St. Louis. She would visit frequently, often resting on a large, grass-covered mound to think about her past and consider her future.

Today, Claire works at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. She and her husband Ron want to help secure the future of the Garden, which made her feel so at home in her new city. They are leaving the Missouri Botanical Garden a bequest in their estate plan.

“The Garden has always been a place to go and enjoy beauty. We want to help preserve it for others—and to continue [Garden founder] Henry Shaw’s legacy,” Claire says.

Claire was only 52, and Ron 61, when they made this decision. The couple feels that age “is not an overriding factor” when putting together a will or drawing up an estate plan.

The Andracseks have also left their footprint by purchasing bricks engraved with their names at the in the Members Entry Court of the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening.

“We’re actually more interested in ensuring the legacy of the Garden,” Claire says. “When I am gone, I want to know it will still be here.”