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Jerry Smith ’62

Tidying Up

Jerry SmithWhen Jerry Smith ’62 read how his classmate and respected friend, Jack Swonson ’62, encourages the creation of a “Mack Truck Book” to enable surviving spouses and heirs to smoothly handle all the complexities of modern life, he took action. He developed his own version for his wife, Freddie. It catalogues such things as funeral arrangements, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, insurance policies, investments and bank accounts, key contacts, and websites with IDs and passwords.

“Given the vast amount of information needed in today’s world, I want her and my family to know how to seamlessly transition when I’m no longer present,” Smith says. “It’s amazing how much detail is required, and documenting it made me realize the importance of creating this guide.”

Smith’s planning helped him focus on using part of his assets to benefit the Air Force Academy. “The Academy provided me an excellent education and allowed me to meet men of integrity and intelligence with whom I was able to serve our country. For that I will be eternally grateful,” he said.

He elected to name the USAFA Endowment as beneficiary of his IRA upon his passing. “All it took was contacting the manager of my IRA and a signature to name the Endowment as successor owner.”

There are many examples of assets that can be transferred in support of the Air Force Academy by designating the Endowment as the beneficiary or owner, including bank accounts, brokerage funds, insurance policies, IRAs and other retirement plans. The owner retains all benefits and ownership while alive, knowing that estate settlement has been simplified and the Academy, ultimately, will be the recipient of the his or her generosity.

For additional information on how to make beneficiary designations to benefit the Air Force Academy, contact Dale Zschoche at the USAFA Endowment, 719-238-7510 or