Bickford Family Charitable Fund

The love Milton and Julia Bickford had for Jamestown continues through this donor advised fund which the Bickfords established in their estate plan, naming their three daughters as fund advisors.

Milton and Julia Bickford

“We both love Jamestown, its farms, the surrounding ocean, the people, sailing, golf, tennis, paddle tennis, the ocean smells, and wonderful walking,” Milton and Julia Bickford stated in a 2009 interview with the Foundation.

The Bickfords have both since died, Milton in 2010 (age 78) and Julia in 2019 (age 88), but their love for Jamestown continues through their three daughters who are advisors to this fund established through the elder Bickford’s estate plan.

“Jamestown is a special place to all of us. It was important to our parents, and now to us, to keep Jamestown simple and non-commercial,” sisters Pamela Corsi and Shelley Koch agree.

“It’s about the beauty of the ocean, farms, nature, and community of the island. Jamestown is like Newport’s little cousin without the shops and cruise ships.” Pamela and Shelley now live in Massachusetts, but the Bickford’s third daughter, Suzanne Bickford, still resides in Jamestown where she raised her three children.

The Bickfords spent summers on Jamestown for several decades becoming year-round residents upon Milton’s retirement in 1989. Milton had successfully grown a small family printing business into a national success, National Bickford Foremost, and was a well-known leader in the Providence business community. He was also an art lover, collector, and an expert in American Impressionism.

The beauty of Jamestown reminded him of the paintings he loved. In an interview with the Foundation, he stated, “It’s just so beautiful here. We don’t want to see things change here that shouldn’t.”

“Jay (Julia) and Skip (Milton) considered living on the ocean in Jamestown to be paradise.”

- Julia Bickfod's obituary in the Providence Journal

The elder Bickfords made only one request of their daughters as they recommend grants from this fund: that grants benefit Jamestown organizations. As they explained, “We’ve always supported the many charitable organizations on the Island, but now with the establishment of the Bickford Family Charitable Remainder Trust, we will be able to do so to a far greater degree.”

Pamela recalls,” Our parents were active volunteers, encouraged volunteer work, and especially supported education and the arts.”