Legacy Writing Services Testimonials

Tereses Testimonial

Mom really enjoyed the phone interview with Leah. I think it was healing and wonderful for her, and I believe the Legacy Letter will be healing and wonderful for us too.

-Terese Kramer

Carolyn Testimonial

Leah interviewed me for about three hours during two phone calls. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with her, and although we have never met, I feel that she is now my friend. She made certain that the letter would truly be mine, asking me about what I wanted to achieve. She asked me about my family, my friends, the important moments in my life, my dreams for the future. She asked me questions that caused me to think in new ways about my past and my future.

Leah wrote a letter after the interviews and sent it to me for editing. It was fun and touching to read how she had pulled together so much information and made it organized and clear. She used my language in ways that surprised me, and made the letter sound like my voice. Leah managed this entire process electronically, since we live in separate states, using phone and e-mail to make everything easy for me.

The finished letter is beautifully printed on archival acid-free paper so that it can be read and treasured through years and generations. Because my children have the letter while I am still able to talk with them, it has lead us to questions and discussions. As years pass, the letter will lead to more stories and revelations as my grandchildren read it with the wisdom that they will find as they mature.

The process was a pleasure and the letter is a treasure, combining my stories about people and events with my hopes and advice for my family.

– Carolyn Finegar
Pat Testimonial

A close friend and I discussed our frustration that when we tried to write down our deepest thoughts, they came out pompous on the page. When I heard about Leah Dobkin’s process of creating a Legacy Letter, I thought of my friend. Perhaps being interviewed, guided, and reviewed would be a new way for her to share her thoughts.

I took a chance and gave my friend a gift of a Legacy Letter for Christmas. I say “took a chance” because I was not sure if my friend would find the gift an opportunity or a burden. It was reassuring that Leah said that if my friend did not want the gift I had paid for, I could switch it to another person. As it turned out, my friend welcomed the gift, especially after she talked to Leah, and had instant rapport with her. My friend was enthused about the challenge.

As they worked together over the telephone, they formed something close to a friendship that made it easy and safe for my friend to be open and trusting with Leah as she wrote and expanded and revised her letter. My friend thanked me multiple times and, praising Leah highly, said she was pleased with the results. She waited for quite a while, until she felt the moment was right, to give the letter to her children and talk with them about why she wrote it and what it meant to her.

– Pat Powers
Doris Testimonial

I thought I would sit down and write mine on my own Legacy letter with the help of the materials I’d received, BUT I just never got around to it. My sister died recently and left a letter to her family that was very comforting for all of us so that was added incentive to write this letter now while I am healthy.

The process was SO easy. The only work I had to do was decide which questions I’d like to answer for my letter, sit comfortably talking about myself and my family with Leah for two 1 1/2hour sessions, and then review the finished product, which I really enjoyed doing. Leah is such a good listener and questioner that I very much enjoyed the interview sessions and all the time I spent with her on the project.

Having a few photos adds a lot so I would definitely suggest adding a few special photos. I am so pleased that I did this and I don’t think I ever would have done it without Leah making it so easy! I couldn’t be more pleased with the end product and the process itself helped me count my blessings and rejoice in the many blessings I’ve had in my life to-date!

SO, my new friend Leah, I am SO grateful that you made this happen!!!!!!! Having finally done my Legacy Letter made my 70th birthday very happy, and I thank you so much! I LOVE my Legacy Letter!!

My daughters all got their Legacy Letters and they loved it!!! A few comments below:

  • I always get all the relatives/ancestors mixed up, now it is in writing and I now have them straight in my mind. – Rachel Heiser Presti
  • I really enjoyed learning about some of the personality traits of our ancestors; it made me think of similar kinds of traits the kids and I have and I felt connected to those ancestors. I liked learning about where I came from and it felt very personal. – Stephanie Heiser Logan
  • Reading it to our two sons was neat and then talking about it afterwards. I liked the advice about not worrying about what you don’t have, but appreciating what you do have. – Stephanie Heiser Logan
  • I cried my eyes out, but also it made her happy too. – Carolyn Heiser Desai
– Doris Heiser
Dave and Marge Testimonial

We were very fortunate to receive the 2012 Legacy Award at the Celebrate Children’s 2012 Dinner. The gift we received was a beautifully bound book of pictures of our 4 grown children and 10 grandchildren and letters that each of our children had written to us. The beautifully crafted letters reflected on memories from their childhood, lessons from their life and thoughts that they wanted us to know.

Leah Dobkin is a gifted writer who has pioneered the concept of Legacy Letters. She interviewed my children, asked them questions to get them to think about their life experiences and wrote four heart filled letters from their thoughts and insights. The Legacy Letters are a treasure to my wife and I. Children’s Hospital gave to us the most meaningful gift one could receive. We owe a debt of thanks to Leah Dobkin who made it possible.

– Dave and Marge Hamacher
Dr. David Testimonial

The Legacy Letter that Leah Dobkin created for our family is a treasure. My grandsons will individually receive this letter when each is old enough to understand the history. Leah’s approach to getting a life-time of experiences into a readable format is remarkable. Best part of my experience is I know Leah listened well and captured the important events and concepts. Our family and my grandchildren are the beneficiaries of her skill.

– Dr. David L. Brown

Workshop and Retreat Testimonials

The workshop was clear, concise and motivating. Leah Dobkin provided a variety of ideas and writing techniques to help me plan and develop skills for my Legacy Letter writing.

– Jaydee Roncke

The workshop was a valuable and thought provoking introduction to Legacy Letters. Leah Dobkin’s encouragement and support was what I liked best about the workshop. I needed both.

– Mary Behringer

The workshop was very informative- an eye-opening way to express myself. It helped me become aware of how I feel and communicate to others.

– Kathie Oliva

The workshop was way above excellent. You are a great teacher and presenter and a very memorable woman. Thank-you for sharing your heart.

– Marne Taylor

The workshop felt like ten minutes long. Three hours- No way! So fast, so fun, so important!

– Cadie Loungan

The Legacy Letter Writing Workshop was a potpourri of ideas, and in-depth information on how to write and present a legacy letter. There was far more information and help in writing a legacy letter than I could ever imagine.

– Joan Bearder

Leah Dobkin was creative and supportive and the participants were fascinating.

– Maryann Gorski

Leah really prepared us to get started on our Legacy letter. There were tons of helpful advice, examples, exercises and handouts.

– Darlene Seegert

Testimonials From Organizational Representatives

Mary Testimonial

We asked Leah to help with a meaningful gift for donors who are very special to Children’s Hospital and she truly delivered! Leah’s interviews with family members were sensitive and thought-provoking, resulting in a wonderful collection of letters. The feedback we received from both the donors and the family members who were interviewed was overwhelmingly positive. Leah brings clarity to the true purpose of Legacy Letters, and helps others articulate thoughts and feelings that can often be difficult to put into words. Leah helped create a memorable gift and more importantly, a memorable experience for this extraordinary family.

– Mary Kay Gundlach
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation

Maggie Testimonial

Leah Dobkin conducted a wonderful, inspiring and productive workshop at Froedtert Hospital. The feedback I received from the participants was great; they really felt that they left with something valuable. We had a diverse group of individuals that attended and she was able to make it relevant for each person. The presentation was easy to follow and fun to participate in. Leah was very professional yet she did a fantastic job at relating with the group and keeping it light hearted. The Legacy Letter Workshop was a very easy one for me to facilitate. I worked on promoting it within our facility and made sure the space was available and ready for her but Leah handled the rest. I would highly recommend Leah Dobkin to anyone interested in sponsoring or participating in a Legacy Letter Workshop!

– Maggie Lausten
Aesthetic Wellness Coordinator
Small Stones Wellness Center, Froedtert Hospital
David Testimonial

Leah Dobkin was asked to work with one of my organization’s leaders to craft a Legacy Letter in gratitude for his service and leadership. He regards his Legacy Letter as a “family treasure” that will be given to loved ones at the appropriate time. Leah is conscientious, professional and an individual of great compassion. Creating a Legacy Letter with Leah’s guidance and stewardship is something that nonprofits ought to embrace….today!

– David C. Wolfson
Chief Development Officer
The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and

Other Writing and Consulting Testimonials

Ms Leah Dobkin is a writer of exceptional talent. She is truly a keen observer of people at their work and can make individual life activities come alive and interesting. She has the unique ability to listen to people and find common meaning in their stories. The late Studs Terkel would be proud of the way Leah uses her craft to bring out dignity and meaning in personal endeavors.

– Eric Reinelt
Port of Milwaukee

When I told Sara Connor, President of the Forest Association of Wisconsin, that I was an editor for a publishing company looking for authors capable of making local history accessible to a general audience, she pointed me in the direction of an article Leah Dobkin wrote on the Port of Milwaukee. Since beginning work with Leah on Soul of a Port, I have been impressed with the passion she has sunk into the book as well as the passion she has harnessed on behalf of the book, two things that do not always go hand in hand. She is the kind of person who can fling her herself into research without putting herself beyond tedious requests from her editor about things like image specifications or cover approval deadlines – a balance that I believe has been a blessing to both The History Press and the Port of Milwaukee.

– Ben Gibson
The History Press

Leah Dobkin wrote a really wonderful story about our Port for the Milwaukee Magazine as a free lance writer back in 2009. We received so many positive comments on the content and flare of her story. When we commented to Leah about how we wished more of her story could have made the magazine cuts, she suggested we expand the story into a book. We haven’t regretted it for a moment, One year later we have a beautifully done story that captures the lives of the people and the importance of our port. Leah was so proactive in the whole process that it made it very easy for us to continue our daily work while she gathered her information. I highly recommend Leah to any company wishing to capture the everyday working life of your business that will leave the reader with a true feeling of the passion you and your employees already share.

– Betty Nowak
Marketing Director
Port of Milwaukee

Leah Dobkin is a dynamic leader who is masterful at bringing people together to find new paths to communication. She is a gifted writer and meticulous researcher who knows how to motivate others. She has worked as a community activist on important social issues and is an expert on geriatric issues. She charms everyone in her path and is a master networker.

– Dr. Danna Walker
Communications Professor
American University
Author of Women and Media: An Activist’s Fight for Equality

Leah Dobkin’s professional career at the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Council on Aging has underscored Leah’s multi-faceted skill set – from marketing, to writing reports, to conducting training and education workshops and programs, to planning conferences, to supervising staff and volunteers, to writing articles for public and professional consumption. In all these areas she excelled, reflecting full mastery of material and strong analytic capacity. A real renaissance woman to be sure! When Leah puts her mind to doing something you can be sure it will be done well and it will be successful.

– Lenard W. Kaye D.S.W.
Professor and Director
University of Maine Center on Aging

For nearly twenty years, I have known Leah Dobkin and admired her tremendous skills, her engaging personality, her attention to detail as well as her perspective on broad issues affecting older persons. Ms. Dobkin is a person of vision, a vision based on a breadth of understanding and a clarity of expression that effectively influences national leaders and people at the grassroots level for positive steps to improve the quality of life of older citizens.

– James T. Sykes
Senior Advisor for Aging Policy
Department of Population Health Sciences
University Of Wisconsin, Madison

Leah Dobkin gave expert testimony before the Subcommittee on Housing and Consumer Interests of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Aging. Ms. Dobkin was one of the first experts to ever speak before Congress on the issue of intergenerational housing or shared housing. Her research synthesis and compelling account of this innovative approach to increasing the number of older people who could thereby live independent in their own homes influenced Committee findings and subsequent policy.

– Brian Lutz
Former Staff Director of the House Subcommittee on Retirement Income & Employment

I had the privilege of working with Leah Dobkin with the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin Alliance for Family Caregiving. She provided technical support in helping us plan a statewide corporate elder care initiative, keynoted at our Family Caregiver Institute, and testified at PBS’s Thou Shalt Honor Caregiver Town Hall Meeting. In all these settings, Ms. Dobkin has demonstrated her excellent written, public speaking, training skills, program development, and collaboration skills. She provides vision and leadership enabling organizations to achieve visibility both locally and nationally.

– Mary Brintnall-Peterson Ph.D.
Program Specialist in Aging
University of Wisconsin-Extension