Mrs. Mellon’s will creates garden education center
The Mellon property along Rokeby Road near Upperville includes an airstrip to accommodate the family’s private jet.
The will of Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, filed Wednesday in Fauquier County Circuit Court, provides a glimpse into the wealthy philanthropist’s passions for art and gardening.
A self-taught gardener, Mrs. Mellon redesigned the White House Rose Garden during JFK’s presidency and left a piece of jewelry to his daughter Caroline.
(Copy of will at bottom of story.)
Mrs. Mellon, who died Monday at 103 in her Upperville home, left directions for the distribution of her fortune in a 36-page will. She modified the 2002 document will nine codicils over the next nine years.
She left artwork, real estate and $20 million in cash to her son by her first marriage, Stacy B. Lloyd III, 75, of Upperville.
The original will made similar provisions for her daughter, Eliza Lloyd Moore, severely injured in a traffic accident. Ms. Moore, however, died without heirs in 2008.
Mrs. Mellon’s grandchildren and other descendants also will receive cash, artwork and jewelry.
The items left to heirs “testify to Mrs. Mellon’s exquisite taste,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. “They include custom-made jewelry by Van Cleef and Arpels and Verdura; paintings by Claude Monet and Anne Redpath. There are also numerous diamond and sapphire rings, ‘important large pearl flowers by (Jean) Schlumberger set in gold,’ sculptures, drawings, weather vanes, pieces of silver and automobiles.”
She left jewelry to Caroline B. Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, and to Wendy Pepper, a Middleburg fashion designer.
She directed that her extensive botanical library and greenhouses, along with 100 to 300 acres of Oak Spring Farm, just southeast of Upperville, serve as a center “for education and training generally in horticulture, botany and landscape design and related fields of nature.”
Mrs. Mellon’s will provides lifetime occupancy of Upperville homes to key employees, including Catlett native Aliene Laws, who oversees the operations of seven households in Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and France.
Although the extensive horse breeding operation ceased after her husband Paul Mellon’s death in 1999, the stunning property along Rokeby Road continues to employ a large staff for maintenance, curation, security and operations, including a private jet and flight crew. In addition to their philanthropy, the Mellons earned respect in Fauquier as exceptionally generous and fair employers.
“It is my wish that Oak Spring Farms LLC remain in existence for such period of time after my death as my Executors deem appropriate, in their sole and absolute discretion, for purposes of assisting in the administration of my estate, the payment of expenses and employment of personnel,” Mrs. Mellon’s will states.
The document gives the executors extensive authority to sell assets, travel, employ experts and distribute the proceeds of Mrs. Mellon’s estate.
She also bequeathed her collection of botanical china in equal shares to the Museum Fine Arts in Boston and to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.
She left a small island to the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Her will provides no total value for Mrs. Mellon’s assets.
But, a “qualification of executors,” filed with the court, lists $880 million as the total for bonding purposes, if that were required.
Editor’s note: This copy of Mrs. Mellon’s will (below) excludes the nine codicils, which made changes between 2002 and 2011.
Rachel "Bunny" Mellon Will by Fauquier Now
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