He Engineered His Success

“In an age of pretension that’s often self-aggrandizing, he was the opposite..”

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Pennsylvania mechanical engineer, Raymond Suckling, lived a modest life.  Fond of White Castle hamburgers and the chipped beef served at his local diner, Mr. Suckling would not be described as a connoisseur of the finer things in life.  That is unless you count the fine quality of his friendships and his sterling character.

Mr. Suckling’s life did start out with what one might think of as somewhat privileged.  The son of a business executive, Raymond was afforded a good education even after his father’s death when Raymond was only a boy.  But it appears that the “silver spoon” stopped there.  Mr. Suckling’s adult life was characterized by hard work, sound investing and a frugal, unassuming character.

As you can imagine, it was quite a shock to his friends and associates when they learned that Mr. Suckling had left an estate totaling $37.1 million to a Pittsburgh area charity.

Who would have thought that the man who was fond of Velcro sneakers, drove a Subaru and loved White Castle hamburgers was the same man who accumulated $37.1 million? No one, apparently!  While some reports state that the majority of Raymond’s wealth was inherited, those who knew him best indicate that it was a combination of inherited and accumulated wealth due to Ray’s unassuming frugal ways.

Regardless of the origin of his wealth, it was Mr. Suckling’s unassuming thrifty lifestyle which allowed him to make such a dynamic impact on his community and change lives for the better.

This One is a Little Strange…

Ninety-eight-year-old Findlay Ohio resident, Margaret Elizabeth Taylor, wanted to do something worthwhile with the $1.1 million estate she had accumulated as the proverbial Surprise Millionaire.  But what she decided to do with the money was well, a littlemap_of_findlay_oh different.

She told her family that they would not receive any money from her estate because what she would do with the funds would benefit a whole lot of people.  No, she didn’t leave the money to any charity that you would be familiar with.  What she DID do with the money is rather shocking


Another Awesome Life Well Lived!

Just when I thought I had read the most inspiring story ever (last post), I came across the story of Anna Kurzweil of Kansas City. A lifelong teacher and student of learning who put faith and others first in her life.


A world traveler (working in a leper colony!) gifted educator, writer, and poet, she counted her wealth in the friends she made, the family she loved and the faith she treasured, not in her bank book.  But oh how her bank book told its own story!

Upon her death, the faith-based charities she honored were stunned to learn they would be the recipients of Anna’s $2 million estate!

Another amazing life well-lived and a benefit to mankind in general and their local community.

Judging the Surprise Millionaire

A word of caution to all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there; not everyone is going to understand your values or goals of wealth accumulation, security, and philanthropy.

It appears that the news outlets didn’t understand George Konnight either; a man who passed away in 2014 with a more than $3 million estate.

Mr. Konnight was described as a “recluse” living in a “battered” house who was actually found to be a millionaire.  They described the man as a poorly dressed hermit living a life of poverty while sitting on top of millions.  They also supplied pictures to prove it.    Konnight

However, I see something completely different in those pictures.  I see a man who was dressed comfortably for a rural northern lifestyle living on a beautiful well-maintained wooded property.   Though they claimed the house had no heat, the pictures make it obvious that the home most likely contained a wood burning stove; not practical for New York City but very common further north.

This gentleman was elderly and most probably found it difficult to obtain replacement items for his household (such as lightbulbs) but by no means was he living a substandard lifestyle as proclaimed by the news story. Konnight Property

Until the news media does a better job of reporting on these individuals, the Surprise Millionaires will continue to be a misunderstood bunch.

Surprise Millionaire Controversy!

A Surprise Millionaire Controversy in New Hampshire!  Two wills, two attorneys and a host of beneficiaries are all vying for an elderly lady’s $1 million estate.   My advice to our Surprise Millionaires is to make your wishes known early, make it legal and binding and don’t change your mind if you can avoid it!

I’m sure this poor lady’s estate will be decimated by the time this is all settled.  Link