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Helping Build a Future for Riley Kids: Remembering Bob James

March 22, 2022

What started as 80-acres of farmland has turned into a multi-million dollar gift for Riley kids.

Robert “Bob” James and his first wife, Ginny, inherited the Miami County farm from her parents in the late 1950s. He continued to add additional farmland until, eventually, they owned over 300 acres. When Ginny passed away from bone cancer in 1983, Bob kept the land in her memory.

In 1987, Bob married Sue Stewart James. She had 3 children of her own and the family would eventually grow to include 4 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Bob passed away in November of 2019. Before his passing, he wanted to ensure a legacy of giving back through his estate planning. So, he decided to gift the entirety of that Miami County farmland to Riley Children’s Health through Riley Children’s Foundation.

When the decision was made to sell the land, it was estimated to auction for around $1.6M- $1.9M. The land ended up selling for over $2.4M – all of which went to help Indiana’s most precious patients – our children.

“Bob and Ginny didn’t have children of their own and there isn’t a personal connection to Riley,” says Phil Stewart, Bob’s stepson. “But, Bob wanted his legacy to be one of supporting children and families when they needed it most and that meant supporting the life-changing work done at Riley.”

The auction was conducted by Halderman Real Estate & Farm Management. They managed the James farms for over half a century.

“This is bittersweet for me, ending a 50-year relationship with Mr. James and the farm that we cared for.” says Larry Jordan, manager of the James farms and area representative for Halderman. “It is comforting to know that his legacy will live on with this wonderful gift to Riley.”

Halderman also generously donated 10% of their commission from the sale to Riley Children’s Foundation.

Bob James will be remembered as a successful business owner – he and his business partner owned Brooks Plate Glass for over 40 years – as well as a kind and compassionate man and a loving husband and father.

He’ll also be remembered as a generous man who invested in the health and well-being of children and a part of Riley’s continued legacy.

Learn More

To learn more about planned giving options, contact Kate Brinkerhoff, J.D., Vice President, Leadership Giving.