Peg Bivens’ Love for Knoxville Will Live on Forever

If you had the pleasure of working with Peg Bivens from Knoxville, it didn’t take long to figure out that she loved her community. Peg was a busy lady, often referencing her “list” of things to take care of, but she was never too busy for a conversation or to share her latest creative idea.

Sadly, and unexpectedly, Peg passed on December 9, 2020.

Among the many roles Peg took on for her community, she was an Alderman for the City of Knoxville, Knoxville City Clerk, and upon her passing was the City Treasurer for the town. She also served on the Knoxville Library Board, the Knoxville Planning Commission, and was a member of the Chapter AM P.E.O. Sisterhood. Peg was an active member on the Board of Directors for the Knox County Historic Sites for decades and served as the Advertising Chair for the Knox County Scenic Drive and the Knoxville Committee. She was also a Founder and member of the Knoxville Community Fund steering committee.

Peg’s relationship with Galesburg Community Foundation began with the formation of the Knoxville Community Fund in 2015. Upon learning of the opportunity to grow a permanent, endowed, philanthropic fund for Knoxville, Peg was all in and quickly began spearheading the effort.

Peg was committed to community involvement and investment. In an article published in August 2020 by the Rural Schools Collaborative about the Community Fund’s plans to directly support Knoxville schools through a teacher mini-grant program, Peg expressed–

“Nothing in any community is stand-alone and in a small community it is especially important for people to work collaboratively, to involve all members in the community in whatever it is…and I think that is just so vital, especially for a small town, for Knoxville, and that’s one of the things that our community fund really tries to do whenever we can.”

Photo courtesy of the Rural Schools Collaborative.

President & CEO of Galesburg Community Foundation Joshua Gibb said, “Peg was one of the first people I met when we started conversations about the Knoxville Community Fund. Her passion for Knoxville became evident quickly. She was a true advocate for her community and helping ensure that the community’s future is bright. She inherently understood the value of establishing and growing an endowed community fund for Knoxville and what that would mean for the town, forever. She had no problem sharing about the fund and asking people to give to it. She knew it was too good of an opportunity not to talk about and ask others to be a part of.”

Not only did Peg thoroughly believe in the power of involvement and advocating for her community—she also believed in the power of philanthropy and giving. Not only did she have a willingness to invite others in to give to make a forever difference, but she did the same herself. Not only did Peg give generously during her lifetime, but it was also discovered upon her passing that she had made a planned gift to benefit the Knoxville Community Fund. Peg had a life insurance policy to benefit the Knoxville Community Fund. It was another way Peg demonstrated her love for her town.

Upon learning of Peg’s planned gift Josh said, “All I could do was shake my head and smile when learned that Peg had taken out a life insurance policy to benefit the Knoxville Community Fund. Peg firmly believed in the power of generosity and helping others experience it. She put her beliefs into action, even upon her passing. Its just another example of Peg’s ability to think ahead with her community in mind.”

Above all, Peg was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, community member and friend who will be dearly missed. And thanks to her genuine love for her community, there will be great opportunities for Knoxville for decades to come.

Planned gifts arranged through your will and estate, such as the one Peg left, are an investment in the place you call home and can have a long-term, transformative impact on the people and nonprofits you choose to support. Planned gifts can be made in a variety of ways such as the life insurance policy Peg left, designating a dollar amount or percentage of your estate, retirement plan, life income gifts, or gifts of real estate. Working with your professional advisor is an excellent way to determine the planned gift that is best for you and the causes you care about.

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Haley Sloss

Charitable Giving Coordinator

Short Bio

Haley provides support to enhance the function and success of the Charitable Giving and Affiliate Teams. She ensures donors receive a personal approach to philanthropy through outstanding customer service by supporting charitable giving for donors and fund holders across the state.