Grace teamed with L. John Van Norden (No. 2110W) and Stephanie D. Bugden (No. 187) in October 1995 to create a charitable trust that would continue her life work. Grace asked L. John to serve as trustee of the charity and, on October 18, 1995, Grace and L. John executed the Declaration of Trust establishing the fund. The Declaration, a perpetual agreement between Grace and her trustee, governs the management, administration and use of Trust funds.
Like Grace, L. John grew up with the Adirondacks in his back yard and fell in love with the mountains that surrounded his north country home. In 1983, after several years of climbing and writing reports to Grace, L. John was introduced to Grace by a family friend, Clarence Bissonette (No. 3374), known affectionately to Grace as "Yogi". A year later, after completing college, L. John moved to Albany to attend law school. In a few short months Grace moved him into her home, first as a summer "care taker" and later as "family". L. John and Grace enjoyed more than two decades together, their close personal friendship continuing until Grace's death on March 13, 2004. L. John was at Grace's bedside when she passed peacefully to the celestial hills.
L. John graduated from Peru High School in southern Clinton County, New York in 1980 and attended the State University of New York at Potsdam (Crane School of Music) from 1980-1984. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from SUNY Potsdam (Music History and Literature and Political Science), L. John studied law at Albany Law School, in Albany, New York, receiving a Juris Doctor with distinction in litigation, property law, estate planning and trusts and estates in 1987. In 2014 L. John received a Certificate in Transformational Non-profit Administration from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business.
L. John engaged in a successful litigation practice in NY State's Capital District, concluding his legal career with appointments as Corporation Counsel for the City of Schenectady, New York (2004-2011) and Deputy Corporation Counsel (Acting Corporation Counsel) for the City of Hartford, Connecticut (2012-2014). L. John "retired" to Key West, Florida with his wife in January 2014 and enjoys a more relaxed professional life serving as a tour guide for Historic Tours of America and promoting the history and folklore of mountain-less Key West.
L. John Van Norden with Stephanie D. Bugden at Boulders (1992).
L. John Van Norden with Grace L. Hudowalski on Cascade, August 26, 1986. Grace's final high peak climb at age 80.
General inquiries concerning Trust operations and administration are welcome and should be directed to the Trustee:
L. John Van Norden
812 Elizabeth Street
Key West, FL 33040
Telephone: (518) 209-9930
Adirondack 46R Conservation Trust@ 2015.
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