Statement from Blue Grass Community Foundation on the passing of former board chair, John R. Hall

November 27, 2021Impact Stories, Transformative Philanthropy
No one’s legacy looms larger over Blue Grass Community Foundation than John R. Hall. We were saddened to learn he passed away on Thanksgiving at the age of 88. You didn’t have to know John long before you learned of his love of his alma mater, Vanderbilt University. John was a defensive lineman for the Commodores during his student days, and distinguished himself as Vanderbilt’s first Academic All-American. He would go on to quarterback countless civic endeavors in which his intellect and ability to bring people together advanced many good causes. It would be hard to find a significant charitable endeavor in Lexington, and many other communities, that didn’t bear John’s fingerprints.


John served as our quarterback during his decade of service as the chair of our board of directors. While John found countless ways to grow generosity in our community, it was his powerful personal example of philanthropy that continues to inspire so many of us.


John shared his passion for making a difference with his beloved wife, Donna, who survives him. She is in our thoughts and prayers, along with John’s family and all who loved him. John and Donna believe that everyone’s life can be improved by giving back to others. In that spirit, they successfully led the effort to establish an endowment for BGCF365, designed to encourage the next generation of philanthropists.


“Blue Grass Community Foundation couldn’t have asked for a better ambassador than John Hall. He inspired all of us through his kind and gentle leadership, and it was his confidence in the value of our mission that fueled the Foundation’s substantial growth,” said Lisa Adkins, president/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation.


While John gained prominence and reached the pinnacles of corporate success, we won’t remember him for the many titles he earned, but instead for the character, dignity and integrity reflected in every aspect of his life.


“With John’s passing, Blue Grass Community Foundation lost one of our greatest champions. But we take solace in knowing he lives on in all the lives he touched and in all the good he did. John’s was a life well lived, and we will be forever grateful that we had a chance to share part of his amazing journey,” said Fran Taylor, chair of Blue Grass Community Foundation’s board of directors.


Godspeed, John.