Small-town man’s legacy will make big impact in rural Washington

Small-town man’s legacy will make big impact in rural Washington

Former Othello, Washington cattle rancher and philanthropist William “Bill” Crosetto, who passed away on January 25, 2018 at the age of 75, has left his multimillion-dollar estate to Inland Northwest Community Foundation.

The extraordinary gift will grow the William A. Crosetto Charitable Foundation, previously established in 2013 at INWCF, and create two new $1 million funds that will support health care in rural Washington communities.

Bill had an amazing work ethic and a desire to serve his community in a meaningful way. He worked with his financial advisor Travis Prewitt to form a solid partnership with Inland Northwest Community Foundation. That enabled him to take the resources from his life work and translate them into the long-lasting benefit of people living in rural Washington – something he was passionate about.

Crosetto continues a proud family legacy that began with his famous uncles. His mother’s brothers were Fred “Hutch” Hutchinson, storied professional baseball player and coach; and Dr. William Hutchinson, well-known surgeon, cancer researcher and founder of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute.

Influenced by his Hutchinson family roots, Crosetto had a passion for improving health care, especially in rural areas. He recognized the critical shortage of rural health care providers in Washington. To help tackle this growing problem, he designated a large portion of his estate to establish the $1 million William A. Crosetto Rural Healthcare Initiative Fund and the $1 million William A. Crosetto Rural Residency Fund.

Crosetto didn’t think of himself as an innovator like his famous uncles, however, these funds will have a significant and lasting impact on the health of those in rural communities for generations to come.

“Medical students often dedicate much of their profession to the communities and the type of medicine where they do their residencies, known as graduate medical education. Bill understood that. He wanted to make sure that graduate medical students had the opportunity to receive support to participate in internships in rural Eastern Washington,” said INWCF CEO Shelly O’Quinn.

The gift will also establish the William A. Crosetto Civic Leadership Fund. Crosetto structured the fund to give discretion to the INWCF Board of Directors to identify economic, health or other problems in rural communities in the region and distribute resources accordingly.

“It was hugely insightful on Bill’s part to build that kind of flexibility into this fund,” said PJ Watters, Director of Gift Planning at INWCF. “There’s no way to know today what might be necessary in 50 or 100 years for communities; this fund gives our INWCF volunteer leaders the ability to address relevant community issues as times change.”

The remainder of the gift will support several other causes that were important to Crosetto. Beneficiaries include 4-H, Friends of KSPS, House of Charity homeless shelter, and Adams County Sheriff’s Department, among others.

Although Crosetto was raised in Seattle, Washington, he considered himself a small-town man. He moved to Othello in 1967 to work as a cattle rancher and remained in the rural eastern Washington community of 8,000 residents the rest of his life. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed duck hunting near his home.