A Champion of the "Little People"
Born in the early 1930s, Ilene Saulsbury was a Mississippi native who found her way to the Northeast and married her best friend, Robert Saulsbury. The two were together for 54 years before her death in June of 2015. Together they enjoyed a life of love and service.
A desire to help children was the guiding principal of her professional life as a social worker in New Haven’s Public Schools. For over 30 years, she compassionately helped students and their families deal with the trials and joys of life.
After her retirement, Ilene sought to further her philanthropic work on behalf of children, by contributing to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, where she established the Ilene M. Saulsbury Fund in 2005 under the umbrella of the Communities of Color Initiative. The fund was originally established as a donor advised fund to support nonprofits dear to Ilene in her lifetime. Per her wishes, the fund will become a preference fund to support early childhood initiatives and organizations benefiting women and girls in perpetuity.
Ilene’s philanthropic interest didn’t stop with The Foundation. She established a scholarship at the Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut to memorialize her sister Mildred M. Gettis. And she donated 10 years of her life serving on the Board of Directors of St. Martin de Porres Academy and on the vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church for many years.
Anyone who knew Ilene would tell you her generosity of spirit was life-long. Her husband recalls her as having a passion for life and championing the little people - she would always say “they are our future!”
She is remembered as a generous woman who is supporting her community forever. To honor Ilene's legacy, you can make a contribution to the Ilene M. Saulsbury Fund at The Community Foundation.
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