Meet Legacy Society Member Mildred Landecker
Mildred Landecker’s passion in life has always been music. She trained at the Juilliard School of Music for five years and, at age 19, received her master’s degree from New York University. She taught music at the prestigious New York High School of Music and Art, authored three technical books about music, and gave piano recitals all over the country. To this day, at 91, she teaches music at a local college and has a number of private piano students.
Mildred’s other passion in life was her husband, Dr. Louis Landecker, whom she met on a tennis court in Central Park in New York City in 1937. “He was the athlete. I was the athlete’s foot,” Mildred jokes.
Mildred and “Landy” – as she called him – were married for 46 years, their marriage abruptly cut short in 1986 by ALS, which took Landy’s life. After his passing, Mildred recalls, “I wanted to contribute so there would be more research done, to help other people, so they wouldn’t have to go through what I went through.”
With only one child – a son, Peter – Mildred wanted to find a way to support ALS research while passing her assets to Peter. After speaking to several advisors and gift planners, including at The ALS Association, Mildred established a charitable lead trust to equally benefit the Association and another favorite charity of hers. Under this arrangement, the Association will receive payments from the trust for 10 years, after which the assets remaining in the trust will transfer to Peter.
Mildred is very satisfied with her gift arrangement, and with the work of The ALS Association. “I think it’s a wonderful organization. If more people are aware of it, they can contribute and make it more powerful.” Would she recommend that others make a similar gift? “Absolutely,” she responds. “If someone is planning to give to worthy causes, ALS is one that is overlooked by most people.”
In recognition of her gift, Mildred joined ALSA’s Lou Gehrig Legacy Society, in Landy’s memory. She also insisted that her gift be used to support ALSA’s cutting-edge research program. “I’m very interested in the research. Now, if they could only find a cure!”
That would be music to her ears.