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A Centennial Centenarian

violet.jpgViolet Dinwiddie, who was born and raised on a ranch near Laramie, is 100 years old. “I’ve seen a lot of change in the last 100 years,” she says. “It’s a different world.”

When she sold her house in Laramie after retiring to Arizona, Violet created two charitable remainder unitrusts—one that provides scholarships to students in the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and the other to support research in wildlife and livestock diseases.

“I just think scholarships are great, especially for ranch kids,” Violet says. “I wanted to help ranch kids.”

She chose to support the College of Agriculture in honor of her father Oda Mason. “He always wanted to give to university. He was very attached to the university,” she says. Regarding the scholarships, Violet continues, “He would have liked that.”

Violet’s retirement plan, a charitable remainder unitrust, is a great way to receive guaranteed income in retirement while also supporting something that you believe in—the “ranch kids” at the University of Wyoming. Under the terms of a charitable remainder unitrust, you transfer cash or property to the University of Wyoming Foundation, and then you or your loved ones receive payments for life. This form of retirement planning also has tax benefits.

Up until retirement, Violet spent most of her life in Wyoming. She was born and raised on her parents’ ranch south of Laramie, and she met her husband Jack (BS Agriculture ‘28) at UW. The Dinwiddies lived in Texas for a short stint after they were married. “We got hailed out and droughted out,” Violet says. Then the Dinwiddies moved back to Wyoming and continued ranching in the Centennial valley where they raised purebred Herefords until 1969. In between, Jack spent five years in the U.S. Army during World War II. Jack passed away in 1986, and Violet moved to Tucson, Arizona.

“Ranching is all I know,” Violet says. “I love riding horseback. I was riding horseback before I could walk.”


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