Local philanthropist donates $3 million to community in final act


Jenny Wible ensured her final act was one of kindness and compassion. She lived an unassuming life, working hard for decades as a Colonial Williamsburg cashiers’ supervisor.

But upon her passing at age 94, she donated her $3 million estate to the Williamsburg Community Foundation, marking the largest gift in the history of the foundation, which supports a variety of philanthropic efforts.

“This is truly a transformative gift for the foundation,” said Nancy Sullivan, the foundation’s executive director. “This really creates a huge impact on us as an organization and the work we can do in the community.”

The foundation’s newly minted Jenny E. Wible Fund aims to support Walsingham Academy, St. Bede Catholic Church and the Salvation Army of Williamsburg, all passions of Wible’s. The money will manifest in the form of annual grants for the organizations.

The money gives the Salvation Army the opportunity to help more low-income families and individuals find the food, clothing and other assistance they need. At Walsingham, the money will support financial aid in the form of scholarships. St. Bede’s funds will support a variety of ministry efforts.

“All three of them contribute so much to our community,” Sullivan said.

Wible’s gift acts as the culmination of a life devoted to caring more about others than herself.

“Jenny was very faithful, a very proper lady and very frugal,” said her friend, Sherry Monk, in a news release. “She never spent any money on herself.”

That compassion included Wible’s fondness for animals, which Monk said would often include rescuing cats on Harrison Avenue.

“She was very giving,” she said. “Whenever someone was in need, she would give what she had.”

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette