Support 54 Years Ago Leads Derryberrys to Pay it Forward
Thomas Derryberry entered Freed-Hardeman College in 1960 as a college freshman, although he had not graduated from high school. After completing 10th grade in Lexington, Tennessee, he began working as a mechanic for the highway department.
"One day," he says, "W.A. Bradfield called me out from under a truck and asked if I would consider going to FHC. I told him I couldn't for two reasons. One, I had never progressed beyond the 10th grade, and two, I had no money." Undeterred, Bradfield told him to show up and he would take care of him.
When Thomas came to FHC, he already had a family. Academic work was something of a challenge, but he succeeded as a student. He gives credit to four members of the faculty: LaVonne Scott for English, C.P. Roland for math, Dr. John David Thomas for speech and Bradfield for his promotion of evangelism. Thomas passed the courses for his degree from FHC but still couldn't graduate.
"E. Claude Gardner said I couldn't graduate because I didn't have a high school diploma. I had to take the GED before he would give me my diploma," Thomas says. "I may have been the first person to finish college before I finished high school."
He began working with Life of Georgia in 1964 and stayed with the company for 30 years, retiring in 1995 as a district manager in Little Rock, Arkansas. Along the way, he has remembered his alma mater, establishing a legacy through the Thomas and Margaret Derryberry Endowed Scholarship Fund and his estate. "Looking back," he says, "had it not been for the Christian foundation for my life, I know I could not have been as successful or as happy with my life."
When it came time to make estate plans, Thomas and Margaret, his wife of 48 years, chose to meet with Thompson & Associates at the invitation of Freed-Hardeman. The confidential, complimentary service specializes in creating personal estate plans that allow an estate to live on as an extension of the individual. The plan first focuses on the individual's values and beliefs and later incorporates their assets. The resulting plan helps individuals combine their values with their valuables.
The estate planning service is provided as a gift to friends of the university. It costs nothing, and individuals are not asked to make a charitable gift. It helps individuals design a plan that limits the money captured by the government, includes an allocation strategy to maximize gifts to loved ones and charity, protects family and friends from the burden of estate administration, and creates a legacy reflective of the individual's values.
"I trust FHU because I was a student there and have been with them through the years," Thomas says. "We are so happy Freed-Hardeman invited us to consider Thompson & Associates for our estate planning. They knew what they were doing."
"One of the great things about working with the Thompson representatives," Thomas says, "was there was no pressure to go in any particular direction. They gave us options and explained the wisdom and pitfalls of each."
The Derryberrys selected the options that interested them. "We ended up with a living trust, new wills and a power of attorney. When it was over, there was a sigh of relief," he says.
If you are interested in learning more about how to begin the estate planning process with Thompson & Associates, please call or email Kyle Lamb, CFP® at email@example.com or 1-800-348-3481, ext. 6020.