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Petsche Estate Gifts $1.6 Million to Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

January 7, 2022

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa has received a $1.6 million dollar gift from the estate of John (Jack) Petsche. The gift is directed to the John and Frances Petsche Fund, created in 2010 with CFNEIA. The endowed fund will support CFNEIA’s Black Hawk County discretionary grant process. This gift will generate approximately $65,000 every year for grantmaking to nonprofits serving Black Hawk County.

“Jack was always quick to share a story, especially about his marriage to Fran. His love extended to his community which is evident through his incredible generosity,” said Kaye Englin, CFNEIA president and CEO. “The Community Foundation is honored to carry out his legacy which allows us to have an even greater impact in Black Hawk County.” 

Jack and Fran lived in Waterloo where Jack worked at Rath Smoke House for 33 years and Fran retired after 40 years with Illinois Central Gulf Railroads. The couple enjoyed fishing, gardening, canning, and spending time at their cabin on the Cedar River. Fran passed away in 2009 and John died on May 11, 2020, at the age of 86.

During his lifetime, Jack donated over $100,000 to the John and Frances Petsche Fund, enabling him to see and enjoy the impact of his generosity. As an endowed fund with CFNEIA, it will give back to the community in perpetuity.

“We are incredibly grateful to have known Jack and for his passion for giving back to the community he loved. His generous spirit will have a great impact on our community forever,” said Englin.

CFNEIA’s Black Hawk County discretionary grants are awarded to nonprofits and government entities serving Black Hawk County. A committee of Black Hawk County residents review grant applications and make grant recommendations to the CFNEIA board of directors. There are two Black Hawk County discretionary grant cycles each year, with the next grant application process opening on January 10.  CFNEIA currently grants nearly $1 million per year to Black Hawk County organizations through this discretionary process.

For more information about this fund or to learn how you can leave a legacy gift through your estate, contact Laurie Everhardt, CFNEIA director of development, at 319-243-1352 or To apply for a Black Hawk County discretionary grant, go to

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