Throughout her life, Wendy Klodt traveled far, bringing her into contact with great beauty, and many people. Encountering suffering and injustice along the way, her travels also brought her closer to herself, her values, and what she cared about most. These experiences influenced her to make Human Rights Watch a part of her legacy.
Wendy’s life had always been rich in experience. After a brief career in musical theater, her artistic nature led her into the fashion industry where she established a group of women’s boutiques. For most of the 1970s, Wendy spent time in Afghanistan, manufacturing dresses to sell back in New York’s East Village, and eventually Bloomingdale’s department store.
“Wendy had a sense of style and a talent for making women feel good about themselves,” David Meikle, her partner of 20 years, said. “She held herself—and others—to high standards.”
David and Wendy, both intellectually and artistically driven and drawn to the open road, met via friends. Although the demands of running a business limited Wendy’s travel, David convinced her to dust off her passport. Together they ventured to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Spain, Portugal, Japan, and England. “Our trips were an important part of our life together,” he said.
In 2014, after enduring a prolonged illness and facing an unfavorable diagnosis, Wendy was determined to get her plans in order and include the causes that were meaningful to her. She left a generous bequest to Human Rights Watch and made gifts to more than two dozen other charities. Wendy lost her battle with cancer in 2015.
“Wendy had seen the effects of poverty, abuse, discrimination and lack of educational opportunities for women and children around the world,” David said. “Human Rights Watch is a well-respected organization whose work generates positive change. It was important to Wendy to support organizations that were making an impact and whose mission resonated with her.”
We are honored to be included in Wendy Klodt’s generous legacy.