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Please pray for the repose of the soul of Esther Wachtell, a member of the Thomas Aquinas College Board of Governors, as well as a neighbor, friend, and generous benefactor. Mrs. Wachtell passed away on Saturday, June 1, after receiving the last rites.Esther Wachtell

The founder and retired president of The Wachtell Group, a fundraising company that specializes in large-scale philanthropic efforts, Mrs. Wachtell previously served as president of the Music Center of Los Angeles and led the development campaign for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles — raising $1 billion, the largest amount ever raised for a children’s hospital in the United States. A resident of Ojai, California, she also raised funds to rebuild the city’s beloved amphitheater, the Libbey Bowl, as well as to restore the Museum of Ventura County.

As neighbors of the College’s California campus, Mrs. Wachtell and her late husband, Tom, were longtime admirers of the College and began supporting it financially in 2005 as members of the President’s Council. She joined the Board of Governors in 2014, where she shared her tremendous experience in fundraising as a member of the Development Committee.

Yet fundraising was only a secondary passion for Mrs. Wachtell. Above all, she was driven by her Catholic faith and the great love for her children and many grandchildren. She was also a tennis player, a swimmer, and an avid traveler.

“Esther lived a very rich and busy life, one that bore constant witness to her great love of family and community,” says Thomas Aquinas College President Paul J. O’Reilly. “We are grateful to have been part of it, and we miss her already. Please join us in praying for her, Tom, and all those who mourn them.”

Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul,
and all the souls of the faithful departed,
rest in peace.