In Appreciation: CFO Founder Vincent Tyndall, 1935-2017

One of the last giants on whose shoulders we stand died this week. Vincent Tyndall was among the group of men who “gathered in the woods” and imagined how to create a public charitable foundation as a conduit to accomplish good works in the community they loved.

Tyndall, 82, was a highly regarded attorney and writer, father and husband. He also was one of 11 members of the Greene County Estate Planning Council who spent a spring afternoon at the Jude Ranch in 1973 to draft plans for the Community Foundation of Greene County, since expanded to the Ozarks. They got it started with $1,500 raised from 15 financial institutions, now grown to nearly $270 million.

In an essay published for the CFO’s 40th anniversary in 2013, Tyndall was adamant that the credit go not only to those 11 men, but also to one woman, the indomitable Anne Drummond, who kept nudging the idea along after Tyndall told her a story about one of his clients leaving a sizeable estate to a hospital in St. Louis rather than Springfield. (He and Anne later opened one of the CFO’s first funds with $100 to seed their mission to create a downtown monument to the county’s namesake, Gen. Nathanael Greene; that effort didn’t work, but during her time as the city’s first Councilwoman, she did advocate to name what is now one of the city’s premier parks for Greene.)

Tyndall was the CFO’s second Board Chair, serving in 1975-77 and again in 1985-87. He and his wife, Constance, hold a donor-advised fund for their own charitable giving. Perhaps most importantly, “Vinnie” served as mentor and muse, participating with the CFO as he could even as his health declined.

Of his fellow founders, Tyndall wrote in 2013, “Some of these men are still living, some not. All would be stunned to see what has grown today out of those early musings, along with the commitment, efforts and generosity of those who followed.”

We are deeply grateful for all of those broad shoulders; today, Vince Tyndall’s in particular. We extend our sympathies to Constance and their three daughters and families. A memorial service is planned for this summer with arrangements under the direction of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home.