Lawyer left $188 million charitable trust

 SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle lawyer who quietly amassed a fortune by investing his inherited family wealth has left a bequest of nearly $188 million to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army.


Hospital officials said, in announcing Jack MacDonald’s bequest, that it was the largest charitable gift in Seattle Children’s 106-year history. The Law School said it was also the largest gift in its 114-year history.

The three organizations will receive income earned by the trust each year, with 40 percent, or nearly $4 million a year, going to support pediatric research at the hospital in honor of his mother, a long-time hospital volunteer. Thirty percent of the income goes to support student scholarships and other needs at the law school, where he graduated in 1940, in appreciation of his education.

The remaining 30 percent supports the Salvation Army in honor of MacDonald’s father, Frederick MacDonald, who owned MacDonald Meat Co. and wanted to help men and women in need.

Jack MacDonald died in September at age 98. He worked for three decades as an attorney for the Veterans Administration in Seattle.

MacDonald’s stepdaughter said his wealth was a family secret.

“Our family has lived with the ‘secret’ of Jack’s generous fortune for more than 40 years, all while being amazed at his frugal lifestyle and modest demeanor. He was quirky and eccentric in many ways, and always stayed true to himself by acting on his convictions to do the most good with his wealth,” said the stepdaughter, Regen Dennis.

During MacDonald’s lifetime, he also gave the hospital $536,000 to pay for research, uncompensated care and other needs.

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