Faye Johnson - Estate Gifts
Faye Johnson was often described as independent, adventurous, dynamic and very generous.
"She went out to lunch with a couple of friends the week she died. And she was 93!” reports her lawyer and longtime friend, Janet Yelland. “Dynamic and full of life, she was an outspoken person who always made time for those in need."
Johnson lived a quiet, modest life in Palo Alto caring for her adopted, abused greyhounds Cleo and Amber and volunteering her time at the Greyhound Welfare League, the Palo Alto Parental Stress hotline, and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. She was very active in the Greyhound Welfare League for many years, attending their “Meet ‘n’ Greets” with her own rescued greyhounds, and also contributed generously to the San Francisco Zoo, often sponsoring individual animals.
A native of California, she had traveled the world with her diplomat husband, living for a good length of time in Italy, Hawaii and Japan. “She was well educated, both in her schooling and the ways of the world,” says Yelland. The travels exposed her to the inequality of life everywhere … and when she saw the worlds of the wealthy and the underprivileged collide in her own backyard, she naturally wanted to help.
Johnson left an estate gift of $700,000 to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation to provide health care services to underserved populations. The gift was in special appreciation of her doctor, Teresa Nauenberg, M.D. She and her team made sure that Johnson’s every need was met. “One of the main things she wanted was to stay at home,” says Dr. Nauenberg . “Since she didn’t have a full-time caregiver, there were many situations where the team had to come up with innovative solutions to help her. That was the kind of care and support she really appreciated.”
Dr. Nauenberg adds that Johnson was just another patient whom she treated with the same attention, respect and care with which she attends to all her patients. “I may have been her quarterback, but it was a team effort to give her the care she needed,” says Dr. Nauenberg, who wasn’t aware of the gift until Johnson’s death. “I would have loved to be able to say thank you to her, because I am sure this money is going to make a huge difference in the lives of many people.”
The impact of Johnson’s legacy will be appreciated and long remembered at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
“Faye’s generous gift will help advance our mission of enhancing community well-being,” says Peter Gielniak, regional director of gift planning. “Faye recognized the need to partner with PAMF, so we can continue to provide the highest quality care to everyone, not just a select few.”
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"I may have been [Faye Johnson's] quarterback, but it was a team effort to give her the care she needed."
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