Brother and Sister’s Legacy Honored with a Scholarship

If you had met brother and sister Henry and Irene Linkowski, you would have quickly learned of their strong faith, great pride in their Polish heritage, love of travel, and generous hearts. But because of their unassuming nature, you might not have realized just how generous they were.

Their niece was sorting their house after they passed, and she found boxes filled with countless thank you cards they had received. She was overwhelmed—she never knew how much they had given in their lifetime.

Henry and Irene were both active in their church, volunteering their time and talents where needed. Donating and putting aside money for others was a regular practice. They also never forgot their family roots—their whole lives they sent care packages of clothes and money to their relatives back in Poland to support them in times of need.

Their father immigrated to the United States and met his wife here. Together, they raised ten children here in Bay City. Henry and Irene continued to live in their childhood home—built in 1907—until their passing.

Having never married and with no children of their own, Henry and Irene wished for a large portion of their estate to go to charities. After distributing funds to numerous nonprofits, their niece came to the Bay Area Community Foundation to invest the remainder of the sum in a scholarship fund to honor Henry and Irene’s legacy.

“Henry and Irene would be overjoyed and honored to know their efforts of hard work would be supporting young people with an education to become leaders in their own communities,” their niece said.

The Henry & Irene Linkowski Memorial Scholarship will award its first scholarships this spring to students attending a Michigan college or university (learn more about BACF scholarships here).

Because the scholarship is endowed at the Foundation, the Linkowski’s enduring generosity will continue forever, providing young people with new opportunities.


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