SLO County Y Receives Generous Gift from Jim Sargen Estate
It is with much gratitude that our Y announces that we have received a significant gift from the estate of our friend and loyal donor, Jim Sargen, who passed away a year ago on his birthday,
October 2, 2021.
“Jim was born in Butte, Montana, the eldest of two children of Rose (Sekovich) and Peter Sargen. In 1941, the family moved to San Francisco, where Jim attended St. Paulus Lutheran
school, then Lowell High School, before pursuing his bachelor’s then master’s degree at San Francisco State University. After working as an assistant city manager in South San
Francisco, he went to work as a shopping center manager, working for Gelsar in managing the Serramonte shopping center. He then moved on to a series of development projects in the Bay Area.
Photo By Kitti McMeel
The Sargen family began their involvement with the Peninsula Family YMCA, which is now part of the San Francisco YMCA Association. Jim’s daughter, Cindy, was very involved in Y summer
(sleep-away) camps and was a staff counselor at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch through High School and College.
The family made a gradual migration to the central coast, with the intention of Jim retiring. When they bought their first home in the area in 1989, it was just the beginning of his long
“retirement" career in the area. Jim did not actually retire until March 2018. As his father had always said, “you get the community you deserve,” and Jim wanted our
community to thrive.
Shortly after moving to the Central Coast, Jim and his former wife Joan became involved as donors for the SLO County YMCA. Jim Gall, longtime YMCA member, volunteer and former staff
Director, said that Jim’s appreciation for the Y and philanthropic nature connected at a critical time when the local Y was really struggling financially. Jim continued to be an annual
donor for all the years following. His charitable contributions grew and had significant impacts over the last ten years in particular. According to Monica Grant, former CEO of the SLO County
YMCA, these gifts included a significant gift in memory of his daughter, Cindy, to support our youth programs and scholarships; and a large capital gift to support the facility renovations of
the San Luis Obispo Y (still in progress). Jim leaves behind an important legacy through his generous estate gift, ensuring that Y programs near and dear to Jim’s heart will serve
families in our community for generations to come. In addition to his charitable contributions to the Y, he served on several boards and fundraising committees for various non-profit
entities, including the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, French Hospital Medical Center Foundation, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges. His contributions to our
community are too many to list.
Jim’s business acumen, humor and generous spirit, is greatly missed by those of us who knew him.