Betty Chatten

A Legacy Lives on

A native and current resident of Elkhart, Betty Chatten is following in her father’s footsteps. Her dad, Merrill (Chick) Chatten was the well-known owner and general manager of Elkhart’s Ford dealership from 1938 to 1959. For the benefit of his wife’s and daughter’s future financial security, chick set up an initial charitable trust fund at the First National Bank (now KeyBank) in Elkhart.

After the Elkhart County Community Foundation was established in 1989 as a public, tax-exempt philanthropic organization, Chick’s charitable trust fund was transferred from the bank to the ECCF. The bank, however, continued to play a role in Betty’s life as she was employed in its audit and controller’s offices from 1959 to 1974.

Chick Chatten died in 1976; his wife, Netta, in 1994 after a battle with cancer. The charitable trust he established was set up to fulfill his personal philanthropic objectives. “Two additional funds evolved following my father’s death, according to directives in his will,” Betty says. “I continue to follow his wishes, maintaining the three funds – for Trinity United Methodist Church, ADEC (Association for the Disabled in Elkhart County) and Bashor Children’s Home.” Betty receives a regular life income from them and then, upon her death, the income will transfer into designated ECCF endowment funds for each of these agencies.

And so a legacy lives on. A valuable gift from the past, benefiting three deserving ECCF Partner Agencies now, in the present, and into the future.

Catherine Wells-Bentz