Sue Nahmensen, CEO of LESA, and Marilyn Brickler, Chair – LESA Board of Directors, accepting Jacqueline’s generous gift from Teresa Nelson, Gift Planning Counselor – St. Louis Region, the LCMS Foundation.

Friend of a Friend: The Power of Faith, Words and One Person

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24

We have all heard the phrase, “You never know who might be listening.” This winter, that sentiment took on a new and deeper meaning when we discovered the life-changing impact that one person’s story can have on another person’s heart.

This story begins with Jacqueline Appelt, a graduate of Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois, and a Senior Designer in the Graphic Design Department at Concordia Publishing House for over 50 years. On April 28, 2020, Jacqueline entered eternity in heaven after a long life filled with faith, family and friends. One of those friends was Linda Lehr, a devoted and long-time volunteer for LESA who often talked to Jaqueline about LESA and the students we serve through scholarships and other educational services.

However, like Linda, we had no idea that those conversations would one day lead to an incredible, life-changing gift to LESA and those very students. When Jacqueline passed, she left behind a $1.5 million estate plan that designated gifts to five charities, including LESA. In January, the LCMS Foundation, our estate gift planning consultant, presented LESA with a $409,000 check for our endowment from Jaqueline’s estate.

“This gift is nothing short of amazing, and we give thanks to God, from whom all blessings flow,” said Sue Nahmensen, CEO of LESA.

Another special aspect of this gift – Jaqueline directed that it be used exclusively to fund tuition assistance through our Building Blocks Scholarship Fund. That means that Jaqueline’s generosity will live in perpetuity, helping children learn and grow in the name of Jesus Christ, for years to come through annual disbursements to the Building Blocks Scholarship Fund.

When our time on earth ends, what will your legacy be? To learn more about making an estate gift to LESA and Building Blocks, visit the Support LESA section here on our website, or contact Katherine “Kit” Auble, our Director of Fund Development and Marketing, at 314-200-0797 or, to get started.