Lyndon Pierce was a World War II vet, trucker and electrician. His wife, Jennie, taught in a rural Winona County school and then became a bookkeeper. Twenty-two years after they both passed, W-K Elementary School kindergarteners benefited from a generous gift from their estate that was given to the Winona Community Foundation.

Looking to honor the Pierce’s passion for education, the Winona Community Foundation Board of Directors chose to request grant proposals from the education community. As a result, it awarded Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School a three-year grant to pilot a program that would ensure all kindergartners are at reading level by the end of the school year.

“The goal of school readiness efforts is to support ALL children entering, in this case. kindergartener students, with the skills, knowledge, health, and attitude to be successful life-long learners.” said Dawn Lueck, Washington-Kosciusko Principal. “We are grateful to be the financial recipient of a family’s vision to support early learning education in Winona. Our development and implementation of this program will help fill the readiness gap and create pathways for success in early learning for every child.”

Lyndon and Jennie took the small step of adding charity to their estate plan and through the direction of the Winona Community Board of Directors, the funds reached the Winona education community in an organized and effective way. Their legacy will live on in the lives of those kindergartners who received the additional support they needed to achieve reading success.

Lyndon and Jennie lived a humble and planful life that benefited our community years after their passing. If you want to learn more about how we can connect you to the causes you love, please contact us. People don’t give to the Winona Community Foundation; they give through us.


  • Lyndon and Jennie Pierce Family Education Fund
  • Type of Fund: Field of Interest (Education)

  • Given through: A gift made in their Estate Plan/Will

  • Administered by: Foundation Board of Directors through a competitive multi-year grant process.