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RAY & KAY
ECKSTEIN CHARITABLE TRUST

“The Lord has been good to us and we want to give back and try to help people that need help.”

OUR FAMILY LEGACY

RAY ECKSTEIN
(1926 – 2019)

Ray Eckstein was born in 1926 in Cassville, Wisconsin and attended Campion Jesuit High School in nearby Prairie du Chien.  In 1943, at the age of seventeen, he left Cassville for Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he attended school on a basketball scholarship.  Ray began college with the intention of going to medical school, but it turned out that law school suited him better.  

KAY ECKSTEIN
(1927 – 2017)

Kathryn (Kay) Hendrick Eckstein was born and raised in Chicago, IL.  She attended St. Scholastica Academy.  Kay left her home in Chicago to pursue an education in speech at Marquette University.  During his first year of medical school, Ray fondly remembered the first time he met Kay and thinking “she was the best looking girl I’d ever seen.” 

EARLY LIFE

Ray and Kay dated through college and when she agreed to marry him, it was with the condition that they wouldn’t go back to his hometown of Cassville, Wisconsin.  They married in 1948 and graduated a year later, Ray with a law degree and Kay with a degree in speech.  Ray and a classmate started a law practice in Milwaukee, but didn’t have enough contacts to make it work.  So with their first child on the way, Ray and Kay made the practical decision to move to Cassville where his father was well known and respected as a village board member and local business leader. Located on the southern edge of Wisconsin, nestled between 300-foot bluffs and the Mississippi River, Cassville is a small town of less than 1,000 people.   In 1949, Ray opened his Cassville law office and Kay grew accustomed to small-town life, especially enjoying the majesty and beauty of the river.

BUSINESS ENTITIES

The Eckstein family grew and so did Ray’s ambitions; in 1958 he started a river transportation business which later grew to Wisconsin Barge Line. With a fleet of tugboats and barges, the company carried bulk commodities from port to port along the Mississippi River. After selling his first company, Eckstein formed a new company in 1978, naming it Marquette Transportation after his alma mater and the French Jesuit priest who explored the Mississippi River. He served on the board of directors of the company until 2015 which is headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky.

PERSONAL GIVING

The Eckstein’s giving was a statement of their personal values – faith, family, education, and human needs.  Ray and Kay also supported special interests in the communities in which they resided.  Their values continue to be reflected today through the grants awarded by the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust.

MARQUETTE LAW SCHOOL

Their personal giving activity culminated in early 2005 when the Eckstein’s formed the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust.  Later that year, Ray and Kay made the decision to make a significant gift to Marquette University for a new law school facility.  They made the gift as “an expression of gratitude” to the University.  It was the single largest gift the University has ever

"The greatest joy we get is from the thanks we receive from those we help."

RAY & KAY ECKSTEIN

"When you go through life and everything has been good, you would like to feel that you've accomplished something with your life rather than make a lot of money and blow it."

RAY ECKSTEIN

"We want to make things available to those that would not have any source to do it."

KAY ECKSTEIN

OUR ADDRESS

Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust
4965 Village Square Drive – Suite A
P.O. Box 7606
Paducah, KY 42002-7606

CONTACT US

Office: 270-534-8930
Fax: 270-534-8940