In the Community

Local Electrical Engineer Leaves Million Dollar Legacy for Lincoln County

May 10, 2021

Montana Community Foundation Recipient of $1.2 Million Gift to Benefit the Libby Community Forever

Lifetime resident of Libby, Robert (Bob) Pedersen, was the man to call when you had an electrical issue to be solved. Now he leaves a lasting impact in the place he loved through a legacy gift which will forever benefit Lincoln County.

Mr. Pederson’s $1.2 million estate gift creates the Robert G. Pedersen Endowment, a permanent fund that will provide approximately $50,000 annually for the Libby area by 2024.

“We are so grateful to Mr. Pedersen for giving back to the Libby community in this way and supporting our mission of showing we care, today and tomorrow. We are humbled to be selected as a beneficiary of his generosity that will benefit Lincoln County now and for future generations," says Paula Darko-Hensler, Chairperson of Lincoln County Community Foundation, an affiliate of MCF.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation and the Libby School District were also among the recipients of gifts from the Robert G. Pedersen estate. Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation received $233,000 to support the hospital in its efforts to meet the ever-changing medical needs of the community. Libby School District received $52,000 to support the student scholarship fund. Both organizations have expressed their deepest gratitude for Bob’s generosity.

“We are thrilled to be helping people leave their legacies for the good of Montana forever. It is an honor to be entrusted with this gift and the important work of helping ensure Mr. Pedersen’s wishes are carried out,” said Mary Rutherford, MCF President & CEO. “This gift is a testament to the power of legacy and legacy giving to positively impact Montana communities.”

Bob was born and raised in Libby and often took advantage of the great outdoors as an avid fisherman and hunter, most often with his brother Ron by his side. He went to school in Libby and graduated from Libby High School in 1948. Upon graduation, Bob worked briefly at J. Neils Lumber Company before enlisting in the Air Force where he learned how to repair the cameras being used on the B-29's. Four years later, he enrolled as a student at Gonzaga University where he graduated first in his class with a degree in electrical engineering.

Bob then returned to Libby where he spent his career working for the J. Neils Lumber Company and St. Regis Lumber Company and lived in his childhood home up until a few years prior to his passing on September 29, 2020, at age 89. Friends and community members recall many times when the mill was entirely shutdown for mechanical problems and Bob was consulted to help due to his uncanny ability to get the mill up and running again.

Grants from the Robert G. Pedersen Endowment are not yet available. The Lincoln County Community Foundation will announce when the first grant cycle begins in 2022.

Bob’s lawyer, David Harman, and personal representative and close friend, Larry King, were responsible for providing suggestions and settling the estate according to Bob’s wishes.

Learn more about the Lincoln County Community Foundation.

To learn more about legacy giving, contact us.