Dorothy Jane Folwell Education and Health Care Endowment


A Davenport native, Dorothy “Jane” Folwell, headed east after college. She enjoyed a successful 30-year career in politics, including working with Barber Conable, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. She and her first husband, Robert T. Borth, retired to the Quad Cities to be near Jane’s family. It was this 1972 move that launched Jane’s second career as a community volunteer and philanthropist. Jane and her second husband, Frank Folwell, had a late-life love, both having lost spouses to cancer.

Quiet Philanthropists 

Frank, a lifelong resident of Davenport, was both a prominent businessman and quiet philanthropist. He broadened Jane’s philanthropic interests, including Junior Achievement, St. Ambrose University, the Center for Active Seniors (CASI), and the Meal Service of Scott County, where he volunteered as a driver. Jane also had a strong interest in health care and started volunteering at the (then) Mercy Hospital Auxiliary. As Auxiliary President, she was the architect of the merged auxiliaries when Mercy and St. Luke’s hospitals joined to form Genesis Medical Center. During this transition, Jane served on the hospital’s Board of Directors and later as its president.

Unwavering Dedication 

Jane also served on the Board of Directors at CASI and created Jane’s Place, a special department providing day care for seniors unable to be home alone. In 2001, Jane was recognized by St. Ambrose University with an honorary Doctorate of Public Service.

In a letter to the Community Foundation, Jane stated, “I credit my dad with teaching me the true joy that comes from giving. And Frank and I have found much pleasure in giving together, but I learned how to be a philanthropist from my lawyer, Henry Neuman, who first introduced me to the idea of charitable funds.” “Our father was a lawyer,” stated Jane’s sister, Sophia Reid. “So she knew what to look for when finding a lawyer to help with her estate plan. Henry did such a wonderful job connecting her with the Community Foundation, and now the Quad Cities will benefit from Jane’s creative philanthropy for years to come.” Jane and Frank’s strong attachment to their community led them to support a wide range of causes in the Quad Cities, including gifts during their lifetime to the Community Foundation Friends of the   Foundation Endowment and Community Impact Endowment. In addition, Jane established the Dorothy Jane Folwell Education and Health Care Endowment to benefit education and health care programs serving the Quad Cities region. This Field of Interest Endowment will generate approximately $40,000 each year to be granted in support of our community. (See Field of Interest Endowment). Jane chose a Field of Interest Endowment because, as she once said, “I prefer not to designate my gifts because I feel, having served on many boards, that people closest to the organization know best how to utilize what I give.” Jane’s endowment provides the Community Foundation with the flexibility to meet emerging needs in health care and education for generations to come.

Perfect Combination 

“I served as the Executive Director of the San Diego Community Foundation many years ago,” stated Sophia. “And I believe that the combination of Jane’s exposure to my work, Frank’s philanthropic influence, Henry’s abilities, and Jane’s caring heart made the perfect combination for leaving a lasting legacy that will support the Quad Cities.” Frank passed away in 1997, and made a bequest to the Community Foundation’s Community Impact and Friends of the Foundation Endowments. Jane continued their philanthropy until her death on May 6, 2013. Jane’s estate plan included a charitable remainder trust and a significant bequest through her will, both of which added to her existing endowment at the Community Foundation. Because of these thoughtful and generous gifts, both Jane and Frank were welcomed as members of The Legacy Society.


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Did You Know?

Charitable organizations in the Quad Cities that promote youth activities can apply for the Roy E. Murray Foundation Grant for Youth.
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