Sheila Dickinson Dinsmore Graf

Sheila Dickinson Dinsmore Graf (1923 - 1996). In a simple yet profound way, Sheila Dickinson Dinsmore Graf believed in putting others above herself. Mother to five children and four stepchildren, Sheila taught her children that happiness comes from “doing for others.”

Graf Sheila DickinsonAs one of Lincoln Community Foundation's largest benefactors, her sixteen-million-dollar endowment gift will impact Lincoln for generations to come. While she did not know what Lincoln's future needs might be, Sheila trusted the Foundation to make good decisions on her behalf and give to causes like the parks, early education, arts and culture, older adults and rural affairs. Her intentions were clear -- to make Lincoln a better place to live.

Sheila was the daughter of Robert S. and Carrie Dickinson of Omaha. Robert was the president and chairman of the board of Nebraska Consolidated Mills, which later became ConAgra. Sheila was a single mother with five children for fourteen years. She married architect Burket Graf in 1972.

Sheila was a perpetual volunteer who had a passion for the environment and for assisting those in economic need. She believed everyone was important, no matter what their circumstance or economic status. Her children believe that is why she was interested in making gifts to the public. Sheila liked to lead by example.

Cover photo: Sheila Dickinson Dinsmore Graf riding her tandem tricycle in the early 1990s with Jim Tyler, her son in-law. (Courtesy image)
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