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South Bend civic, business leader Ernestine Raclin dies at 95

Ernestine Raclin
Photo courtesy of United Way of St. Joseph County
Ernestine Raclin died on Thursday at 95 years old.

Local business leader and philanthropist Ernestine Raclin died Thursday at the age of 95.

Raclin grew up in South Bend and gave generously to numerous community institutions throughout her life.

Raclin was the youngest daughter of E.M. Morris and served as the chairperson of 1st Source Bank for over 20 years.

In a release, Raclin’s son-in-law and current 1st Source chairman Chris Murphy said her vision bettered both the company and the community, writing that, “Her values informed how 1st Source does business everyday and how our family prioritizes the wellbeing of our hometown. She leaves an indelible mark on this community and in the lives of so many who have known and loved her over the years.”

Beyond her role with 1st Source, Raclin was a trailblazer as the first woman to serve as a trustee for the University of Notre Dame. She was also the first woman in the country to chair a local United Way chapter.

In addition, Raclin helped found Michiana’s Public Television Corporation WNIT and Stanley Clark School. She also donated to fund Indiana University South Bend’s art school as well as Notre Dame’s new art museum.

"The IU South Bend Community is saddened to learn of Mrs. Raclin's passing," IUSB Chancellor Susan Elrond wrote. "We honor her legacy in naming of our Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts."

Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Notre Dame's campus at 2:30 p.m., followed by a memorial service. Palmer Funeral Homes is handling the arrangements.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.