Widow Sells Late Husband’s Prized Car for Mental Health Research

2 Corinthians 9:6 NCV Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest, but the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest.

A woman who lost her husband to suicide brought on by mental illness has parted with her biggest link to her late husband to try and help others.

Susan Futterman cried as her late husband’s 1967 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 sat in their garage for one of the last times.  The car, one of only 250 ever made, was a passion of her husband’s until he was stricken with mental illness at age 58.   Frederic Paroutaud lost his battle with mental illness just two months later when he committed suicide at the couple’s home.

“We really didn’t know there was an issue until April 2012, until he had what appeared to be a psychotic break,” Futterman said. “Things deteriorated pretty rapidly, and at some point he was diagnosed as bipolar.”

The car was auctioned over the weekend for $522,500.

Futterman gave every dollar from the sale to La Cheim Behavioral Health Services, a non-profit group seeking to help boost mental health care in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California.

“I think the staff is a very dedicated group of people really trying to serve an underserved community, and they’ve been operating on a shoestring,” Futterman said. “I’d like to contribute to something where I can see a difference being made.”

“I think it’s tremendously generous and redemptive. She’s turning a tragedy into something that provides healing for people,” Frances Raeside, La Cheim’s program director, told the Contra Costa Times. “She’s creating a legacy for a really creative and beautiful person. … It’s a great act of courage on Susan’s part, letting go of the car that’s sitting in her garage and was a constant reminder of her husband.”

Leave a Reply