Gift Planning

Ann Johanson

Continuing Family Tradition

Sometimes, philanthropy is as much a family tradition as it is a personal decision. Ann Johanson is proud to support the Missouri Botanical Garden and continue the legacy of her parents, who were longtime members and supporters as well as avid gardeners and travelers. They visited botanical gardens when they traveled and brought azaleas home. 

Ann inherited their beautiful home garden as well as their love for the Garden and a few other iconic St. Louis institutions. So she decided to carry on their legacy of giving. 
“Dad was the digger; mom was the planter,” Ann said. “I have their love of both birds and flowers.” She chose to honor their passions with a brick in the Members Entry Courtyard of the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening. 

Ann is also sharing that legacy and love with the next generation. She makes a point of bringing her adult niece and nephews and their families to the Garden when they visit St. Louis. The Japanese Garden, Seiwa-en, is among her most favorite spots. 

While Ann’s love of nature has increased in her adult life, she understands the role of the natural world in the healthy development of children. 

“As a pediatrician, I have a particular attraction to children’s health, growth, wellness, and development,” Ann said. “I specialized in growth hormone deficiency, and you’ll find interesting phenomena related to nature and children’s health. For example, children grow more in the summer. Sunlight, outdoor activity, and exercise all contribute to healthy growth.”

This interest in the connection between children’s health and nature led Ann to make a gift to support the expansion and renovation of the Brookings Exploration Center, the Garden’s family-friendly destination for hands-on exploration, learning, and play. “Engagement is important, and I think a year-round opportunity for kids to play and learn in the Garden is great,” Ann said.
Ann has also included the Garden in her estate plans as a member of the Heritage Society, ensuring her family’s tradition of support will continue for many years to come. She found designating the Garden as a beneficiary of her retirement assets to be both accessible and sensible.

“Giving from my IRA makes great sense,” Ann said. “It maximizes my gift and protects my heirs. And it’s important for me to contribute to organizations that use money wisely. I read annual reports; I want to know how and where contributions are spent. I have confidence in the Garden and the people who carry out the work I support. They’re doing a good job, and I want them to continue to do a good job.”

Learn more about giving through Beneficiary Designations.