Las Vegas—Following the unexpected passing of Dave Gheesling, CEO of FEI Group, in November 2020, a trust was created in his name to both honor his legacy and support those closest to him: The David B. Gheesling Trust.
According to Graham Howerton, president of FEI Group, the trust will first and foremost provide short-term financial assistance for Gheesling’s immediate family—Kasia Sutton, his life partner, and her two children, Natalia and Marcus—in order to cover any unforeseen expenses not already accounted for under the estate.
Second, the trust will offer charitable grants to organizations Gheesling supported during his lifetime or those that are otherwise compatible with his charitable interests. The trust anticipates supporting organizations such as Tellus Science Museum, Fernbank Science Center, Elachee Nature Science Center and Meteorite Association of Georgia.
In addition, the trust will support students interested in pursuing planetary sciences and space exploration—a major passion for Gheesling. “Dave was one of the foremost meteorite experts and collectors in the U.S. and has one of the most well-known private collections,” Howerton told FCNews. “We have partnered with his friends from that part of his life—including one close friend at NASA—to create scholarships for students who want to pursue planetary sciences.”
Howerton said the trust, which will be funded strictly through donations, intends to host fundraising events in 2022 to honor Gheesling. “We want to work with the industry and his friends to do something really fun,” he explained. “Dave touched a lot of people; that’s what was so great about him. It was never about the business first, ever. The business came because of all the personal relationships he built. He touched so many people and was so important to so many people. We want to have a way for us to honor his legacy and support the things that were important to him.”