Why SI is in Estate Plans of Heritage Members
Some Father Harry Carlin Heritage Society members who attended the May 17 Lake Merced Golf Club gathering said why they had made SI a beneficiary of their estate plans.
Helen Bernstein, whose Merced Golf Club membership made the gathering possible, pointed to four sons who were SI graduates; her husband, Dr. Joseph Bernstein, who was both Fathers’ Club president and SI’s team doctor; her 13 years as an SI regent; and her family’s deep respect and affection for the late Fr. Harry Carlin, S.J.
“He was a close and dear friend,” she said. “The children called him ‘uncle.’ One of our grandchildren is named Samuel Carlin in his honor. In my view, he epitomized the priesthood. He took his ministry seriously yet was easy to chat with about religious questions. I knew that whatever he told me was the right thing to do, not just the easy thing to do.”
She had worked on the SI auction with Fr. Carlin. After he retired to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, the Bernsteins visited him monthly. Mrs. Bernstein, a former nurse, made SI a beneficiary of her IRA.
Carlin Society members Tim and Donna Ryan call SI “the heartbeat of the Sunset District.” It’s the neighborhood where they grew up, met, married and retired. “SI reaches out to the families of the Sunset as no one else,” Tim said. A graduate of Holy Names School and Lincoln High, he admires the vibrancy of SI, the school their son Shaun Patrick ’82, attended.
“Whenever you drive by there, the lights seem to be on,” he said. “It is used to its maximum, and the neighborhood is the better for it.”
Donna recalled her son’s participation in SI’s Community Service Program. “He volunteered at the Recreation Center for the Handicapped (now called the Janet Pomeroy Center), across from the Zoo. That was part of his academic program, not just a semester assignment.”
Tim, who retired from the food service business, and Donna, who retired from human resources management at San Francisco State, included SI in their estate plan about eight years ago. When Fr. Anthony P. Sauer, S.J., retired, they gave him a copy of their SI bequest. “He took SI to another level,” Tim said. “The product from the school is wonderful, the best of the best of the best. I’m eager to encourage others to join the Carlin Society.”
Pediatric radiologist Dr. Peter Kane joined the Carlin Society by setting up three SI scholarship funds in his will. He has partially funded one which honors his late parents, Elton A. and Marion M. Kane.
“My dad went to SI in the early 1920s at the old Shirt Factory,” he said. “My mom was active in the Loyola Guild.” The scholarship serves as a memorial to them. “These were my parents,” he said. “A chunk of stone at Holy Cross Cemetery doesn’t do it.”
He is planning a second scholarship fund honoring his late maternal grandparents, Edna L. and Sydney C. Martenstein of Belmont. “My grandfather did not get past eighth grade, but he encouraged higher education.” The third fund will honor his best friend Peter Constantatos of San Francisco who died at 67 in 1991.
“The Jesuits were very supportive of me,” Dr. Kane added. “They provided the kick start I needed to go to college and medical school. He listed Fr. Rocky Shaules, S.J., Fr. Pierre Jacobs, S.J., Mr. Frank Doyle and Fr. Richard Spohn, S.J., among SI teachers who meant much to him.
Carl Blom ’55 and his wife, Jeanie, look at their SI bequest as one way of “helping the school to be the best it can be, and it’s already one of the best Catholic high schools in the nation.” He also referred to the ease and tax advantages of estate gifts to the school. “Planned gifts come after you’ve sailed out of this life,” he said with a smile. “And they’re estate-tax free.”
Their Carlin Society membership, he added, is not tax-centered. “What more can we give our children aside from education, spirituality, ethics and leadership training? No one else does it like SI.”