Stories of Meaningful Change


Stories from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Legacy for a Friend

For 31 years, she loved teaching and coaching students at Bentley High School. She was active in her church, was a good neighbor, and had concerns about the future.

Sophia Waldbauer was a fun-loving woman, full of laughter and enthusiasm for her alma mater – Michigan State University. She was single, lived in Davison, and was struck-down by breast cancer at the young age of 51. When she died in 1996, she wanted the remainder of her estate left for the future benefit of the students she loved so deeply.

Since her death, Sophia’s estate has been administered by friends, neighbors and colleagues. Over $30,000 in scholarships has been awarded to 12 students.

“We wanted to preserve Sophia’s legacy and were looking for a place where the money could grow and scholarships could be granted,” said Mary Ann Breece, a neighbor and dear friend. “We are all getting older and our hope is that the community foundation will continue to go and grow.” Breece and Janice Rivard, a fellow teacher and friend of Sophia, established the Sophia L. Waldbauer Scholarship Fund. Grants from the fund will benefit Bentley High School students in perpetuity. “She wanted the scholarships to go to deserving students,” Rivard explained. “They didn’t have to be outstanding sportsman, but have good sportsman-like qualities. “Sophia would be very happy with this. “We helped a lot of students along the way, and now it’s going to continue. I’m so thankful that it’s going to be carried on in her name, in perpetuity.”