Albert Wolfe Family Fund

Throughout his life, Albert Wolfe was committed to community service and action. Among his many charitable achievements, he was the founder of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation in 1963, and over the years, he and his family members made significant financial contributions to the Foundation. After Mr. Wolfe’s death, the Foundation decided to combine various unrestricted gifts made to the Foundation by Mr. Wolfe and his family into the Albert Wolfe Family Fund, which stands as a permanent memorial to Mr. Wolfe and his dedication to the Foundation.

Mr. Wolfe was the son of the late Katherine V. (White) and William H. Wolfe. He was named for his maternal grandfather, Albert Blakeslee White, Governor of West Virginia from 1901-1905. Born in Parkersburg, Mr. Wolfe left the area to attend college and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In 1940, he became a partner with the Boston law firm of Rackemann, Sawyer, and Brewster, where he remained for his entire career. His specialty was in real estate law, with a particular focus on historic preservation and conservation laws. Mr. Wolfe had a significant impact on the Boston community through his practice of real estate law. For example, he represented Prudential Insurance Company on the New England Center project that helped turn around the Boston economy in the 1950s and 60s.

Although he lived in New England for most of his life, Mr. Wolfe maintained close ties with the Mid-Ohio Valley. The Wolfe family assisted many charitable organizations in the Parkersburg area. Mr. Wolfe donated the land for the Presbyterian Church in Parkersburg, erected in 1961. His sister, Elizabeth Wolfe Eddy, donated the Cook House, located at Thirteenth Street and Murdoch Avenue, to the Junior League of Parkersburg.

The idea to establish a community foundation for Parkersburg came from Mr. Wolfe, who had learned about community foundations through his work with his family’s private foundation, the Keystone Fund. Mr. Wolfe’s early leadership and financial support made the establishment of the foundation possible. He offered $5,000 in seed money from the Keystone Fund to start the Foundation and continued over the years with other substantial unrestricted gifts as well as gifts to create funds dedicated to historic preservation.

In addition to his ongoing involvement with civic affairs in the Parkersburg area, Mr. Wolfe was prominently involved in activities related to historic preservation in New England and nationally. He was counsel for the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, he chaired the Cambridge Historical Commission, served on the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and was a trustee for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This fund – and the community foundation as a whole – is a legacy to Mr. Wolfe’s ongoing leadership and support for the Foundation.

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