Recognizing a Good Investment
Bob Uteg, associate manager at A.G. Edwards & Sons in Springfield, Illinois, had over 1,000 clients counting on him. During his 31 years with the company, Bob learned to recognize a good investment. He and his wife Marilyn made one of these good investments themselves through their planned giving.
Marilyn passed away in 2012 and Robert in 2013, but their lives and generosity will be remembered for a very long time at UIS because of the investment they made through a bequest to UIS.
Bob and Marilyn were born in the same year and graduated from high school the same year—Marilyn in Centralia, Illinois, and Bob in Dundee, Illinois. Marilyn took a job with AT&T directly out of high school. Over the years, she has had six different jobs with the telephone company. In her last job prior to retirement, she worked as a representative of AT&T with schools. “She really liked the last job,” Bob said in an earlier interview, “where she worked with kindergartners teaching them how to use the phone and how to be courteous.”
Bob graduated from Valparaiso College in Indiana. After a stint in the army, he earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in marketing and management. Following ten years working for the utility in St. Louis, Bob moved to central Illinois where he began working for A.G. Edwards. At 77, Bob is still working—“because he loves it,” Marilyn said.
Over the years, the Utegs have given to local charities in Springfield. “We feel strongly about giving locally,” Bob said, “because that is where we earned most of our money, so we want some of it to stay right here.”
Job Satisfaction–and Giving to UIS
One day, at a Rotary meeting, Bob and Marilyn met former UIS Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn. Giving to education had always been a priority for them, and they decided to add UIS—“a wonderful institution”—to the list of organizations they support.
“It’s so important to find job satisfaction,” Bob explained. “I wouldn’t be working now at 77 if I didn’t love my work so much. Education helps people find that job satisfaction. That’s why we support education so much.”
A philanthropist through and through, Bob encouraged his many clients at A.G. Edwards to give as well. “When I see the opportunity and they’re doing some planning, I step in and say, ‘Would you consider this idea?’” Bob then described his own giving and suggested clients think about including philanthropy in their plans. Think of the many organizations and causes that benefited from Bob’s habit of generosity!
The Best Advice
Asked to define success, Bob said that success is “finding happiness not only in your own lives but in helping others to be happy also.”
With that as his definition of success, Bob’s encouragement to others to give as he and Marilyn do may have been the best investment advice he gave.