Parents Honor Son with Memorial Gift to Good Shepherd Endowment

It is never easy to lose a child

By Mary Losik

Bonnie and Doug Ondick lost their eldest son, Tom, on September 12, 2011.  Tom was born 40 years ago.  He was a fun-loving son, active in sports, a member of the first graduating class of  the new St. Thomas Aquinas High School, a son who grew into a thoughtful and caring young man.  When he died unexpectedly in September his parents, Bonnie and Doug, wanted to turn their tragedy into something positive.  Acting on their strong belief system, they asked that memorial gifts be given to the Good Shepherd Endowment Fund in Tom’s memory. 

This quiet and heartfelt gesture, begun in grief has now mushroomed into something lasting – the first gift received by the Good Shepherd Endowment Fund after it’s humble beginning in 2005. 

The Good Shepherd Endowment Fund was established by forward-thinking parishioners in 2005. A parish gift of $5,000 opened the Endowment Fund to allow parish members a way to continue their generous stewardship of giving in death as in life.  Held and managed by the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas, the endowment provides a stream of income for the benefit of the parish in perpetuity.  The principal can never be accessed; only the income can be used.  The fund is invested, and over the years the fund has grown. 

Bonnie was one of the first to step up to promote a new awareness of the fund, not only with her words of encouragement, but also with action.   She and Doug saw the impact that the parish endowment could have and added a gift to it in their estate plan.  Then in the dark hours following Tom’s death, Bonnie and Doug again remembered Good Shepherd by memorializing Tom’s life through the Endowment Fund.  As we share in the loss and grief of the loss of their son, we are grateful to them for sharing their faith through the generous example of their lives. 

Today, we especially remember Tom’s life and give recognition to his thoughtful parents, Bonnie and Doug, who share the blessings of Tom’s life with future generations.

There are a number of easy ways to make a gift to the church through estate planning or even to give to a fund online.  Your particular circumstances will dictate which of these methods of giving may be right for you.  If you are interested in a legacy or named memorial gift to benefit your local parish or other Catholic organization please contact CFNEK at (913) 647-0325 or email us today.