Helen Banas lived a quiet life during her retirement years in Laguna Woods California. A widow for more than 50 years, Helen was fond of the simple things in life such as eating bonbons and enjoying the beautiful Southern California weather from the balcony of her modest townhome.
Known as a frugal sort, Helen did not spend money on things she did not need but rather chose to invest her income and watch it grow. And grow it did!
Upon her death in 2012 Helen left a whopping $27 million to both local and national Alzheimers charities. It turns out that Helen’s mother had suffered from the disease years earlier and she wanted to provide funds for research and the care of those affected. This multi-million dollar Surprise Millionaire is a great example of what can happen when you invest wisely over an extended period of time. The results can be astounding!
A big thank you to fiscallyfitchica for letting me know about this wonderful Surprise Millionaire!
Robert “Bob” Morin spent nearly fifty years working as a cataloger for the University of New Hampshire library while quietly accumulating a vast amount of wealth.
Mr. Morin was obviously a no frills kind of guy as evidenced in the news article below but led a very busy life:
“Morin wasn’t a big spender, but he kept busy. UNH said Morin was passionate about movies, and watched more than 22,000 videos from 1979 to 1997. He also read every book published in America between 1930 and 1940, excluding children’s books, textbooks and books about cooking and technology, UNH said.”
By living frugally and investing wisely, Mr. Morin was able to leave a $4 million estate to the university that he loved. The funds will be used to enhance the campus career center and a host of other projects. Let’s hope Mr. Morin’s example inspires others to live frugally, invest wisely and bless others with the results!
I recently became aware of a Surprise Millionaire who created quite a sensation a few years ago by the name of Matel “Matt” Dawson, Jr. more affectionately known around Detroit as the “forklift philanthropist”.
Born in Shreveport Louisiana, Mr. Dawson spent his formative years surviving the great depression and the inequality of that time. He wasn’t able to go to high school as he had to work to help support his family, but that didn’t mean he was opposed to scholastics.
On the contrary, Mr. Dawson believed that education was a tremendous thing and wanted young people to pursue their dreams without the worry of financial strain. This Detroit forklift operator who worked more than 60 years at his job gave a total of $1.25 million in scholarship money over his lifetime to deserving young people. He lived frugally, invested wisely and was able to help many others in the process. Another inspiring Surprise Millionaire story!
It appears that others are discovering the Surprise Millionaires phenomena. One financial institution is even attempting to educate its customers regarding the benefits of frugality and wise investing. The article is great and right on target but the statement that really grabbed me is one that expands on an idea I have spoken about at length here at the Surprise Millionaires:
“The correlation between being a millionaire and occupation is completely random. More than what you do for a living, the manner in which you live your life will determine your financial outcome.”
In other words, “anyone can accumulate wealth”! I say it much more simply but the message is the same. Consistent, long term, saving and investing will result in wealth accumulation. And just how do you maximize the funds you are able to invest? Frugality of course!
A small town Massachusetts Barber left quite a gift to the local library in honor of his late wife. Anthony J. Ralys and his barber shop were a fixture in Athol Massachusetts for over 38 years. Mr. and Mrs. Ralys lived in an unassuming little house on Warwick Avenue for most of their married life and were typical of the hard-working people of central Massachusetts. What wasn’t typical about this couple was their propensity to accumulate wealth. The Athol public library was shocked to learn that they would be receiving the bulk of the Ralys’ $1.6 million estate. I’m sure the shock was enough to make their hair stand on end!
It’s the last day to download my Kindle ebook for free. I would like to thank all of you who have already downloaded your copy and hope you enjoy the read! The Surprise Millionaires has been a labor of love for me and a chance to profile some of the unsung heroes of giving and philanthropy in our world. Thanks again. 🙂
In honor of everyone who has supported the Surprise Millionaires over the past three years and to all of you Dads out there, I have made my Kindle ebook free for download for the next 72 hours. Happy Father’s Day everyone and thank you for your support!