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I never met Jesse Abel Francis. 

To my knowledge, he never visited the campus of Halifax Community College. 

Mr. Francis had not lived in Halifax County since his upbringing with 18 siblings on a farm just north of Enfield in the 1920s. 

Mr. Francis graduated from Eastman High School as valedictorian in 1939 and left Halifax County to attend A&T State University in Greensboro. 

He graduated in 1943 with majors in vocational education and biological science and a minor in business administration. 

Mr. Francis left soon after college to serve our country in World War II for three years in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. 

Most of his adult life and career, he spent in Brunswick County, N.C. 

I wish I had met and got to know this man from humble beginnings.

Earlier this year, I received notifications that Mr. Francis had passed away and left the HCC Foundation $25,000 to endow a scholarship. 

Having never met Mr. Francis, this was one of those good surprises that everyone hopes for.

As impressive as his story was, for a man to leave in his bequest $25,000 for HCC was extraordinary. 

I suppose it is not surprising for such a gentleman. 

His $25,000 became an extension of a life-long service to others and a commitment to education that will last forever as an endowed fund.

One fact remains true for all of us. At some point, we will expire and leave this world. 

Mr. Francis planned for his demise with thoughtfulness and a care for making a difference for this world long into the future after he was gone. 

Many of the scholarships at HCC are in recognition of a loved one, a dedicated staff member of HCC and even causes which a donor cares for. 

It is a great way to memorialize and remember someone special. 

With a little preplanning with a professional estate-planning attorney, you can make a difference after death. 

There are several options to plan your charitable giving, including a charitable lead trust, a charitable gift annuity, life insurance, retained real estate, cash and several combinations of the aforementioned. That is why an estate-planning attorney is important.

Mr. Francis passed away in March 2019, at age 100. What a legacy he leaves.

A charitable contribution is a great way to receive a tax benefit, makes a huge difference in the life of a student, and changes our community for the better. 

If you would like more information on how a tax-deductible donation can make an enormous difference for our community, contact Allen Purser at 252-536-5479 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Allen Purser is executive director of the Halifax Community College Foundation