Skip to content

Estate gift benefits Pastor’s favorite causes

December 20, 2021

ASHLAND – The immeasurable impact of Elizabeth Pastor’s artistic passion and her generous spirit will endure for years to come, thanks to her carefully-composed estate plan.

Through bequests in her will, Pastor made plans to create five endowed funds at Ashland County Community Foundation. Those funds were recently established upon the settlement of Pastor’s estate.

Four of the new funds benefit specific nonprofit organizations about which Pastor was most passionate— Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Ashland University to provide scholarships for music students, The Cat House Feline Sanctuary and The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County.

The fifth fund supports Ashland County Community Foundation’s Community Grants program, which responds to the community’s changing needs by funding programs and projects of community-wide benefit.

“We’re honored that Liz chose ACCF as a vehicle for her planned giving,” ACCF President/CEO Jim Cutright said. “By consolidating her philanthropic efforts in one location, she gained the confidence of knowing her funds would be carefully managed and used for the purposes she intended.”

Pastor was well known locally as an exceptional pianist and educator as well as a leader at Ashland College/University, where she taught piano from 1948 to 2015. Pastor made solo appearances with leading orchestras throughout the country and also supported the Ashland Symphony Orchestra from its rebirth in 1970 until her death on November 3, 2018.

“Liz was a piano soloist with the ASO a total of fourteen times between 1974 and 2004,” said Martha Buckner, general manager of ASO. “With Liz’s generous gift to the Ashland County Community Foundation to benefit the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, the ASO will be able to continue annually The Elizabeth Pastor Series of Guest Pianists and contract world renowned pianists to perform with the orchestra, purchase piano repertoire, and pay for upkeep of concert pianos.”

To say that Liz was a unique individual on campus and Ashland community is an understatement, said Ashland University President Carlos Campo.

Though Pastor had retired from her teaching duties when Campo arrived in Ashland in 2015, they became neighbors and good friends until Pastor’s passing. Campo also recalls conversations with dozens of alumni who reflected on the positive impact Pastor made in their lives.

 “She was a force of nature, an advocate for the arts, an extraordinary virtuoso on the piano, and a teacher who had a multi-generational impact on her students,” Campo said. “Liz was a leader and an outspoken supporter of our university. Her legacy will live on, both through this endowment and through the many lives she touched in our community.”

To insiders at The Cat House Feline Sanctuary, Pastor was lovingly known as “THE Cat Lady,” according to Executive Director Laura Bailey.

“Liz was always a generous supporter to our kitties,” Bailey said. “We are honored to continue our mission, and her Cat Lady legacy, through her generous endowment for our kitties.”

Executive Director David Ross said The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County is humbled by Pastor’s generous gift to help individuals and families in Ashland County struggling with mental health and/or substance use issues. 

“Many individuals lack sufficient healthcare, and Ms. Pastor’s thoughtfulness will help to ensure that those individuals and families won’t need to worry about receiving needed care,” he said. “We’re very appreciative of her generosity and focus on the welfare of others above self.”

To learn more about how you can benefit your community and your favorite organizations or causes through your estate plan, contact Jim Cutright at (419) 281-4733 or

“More than 100 individuals or couples have notified ACCF of their plans to include the Foundation in their will or their estate planning,” Cutright said. “The positive impact of that planned giving on the future of our community cannot be overstated.”

About Ashland County Community Foundation: Ashland County Community Foundation advances philanthropy and improves the quality of life in Ashland County by connecting people who care with causes that matter. ACCF has awarded over $20 million in scholarships, grants and distributions.