No one would mistake today’s Surprise Millionaire, Steve Brewster, for a wealthy business tycoon. However his store, the Sportman’s Chalet, was a popular fixture in the Bellingham Washington community for over 30 years. Unfortunately, Steve found it necessary to sell his business in 2001 due to a significant life change. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) around that time, Steve had to focus all of his energy on living with and managing his disease. Which is just what he did for the next two decades. Tragically, Steve lost his battle with MS in 2017 leaving the community he loved behind.
Surely a man who had been battling a progressive disease which was both physically and financially draining would have nothing left to leave the community he loved, right? Wrong, even with the costs of managing his MS, Steve was still able to accumulate $1 million over the course of his life. Take a look at how Steve’s generous gift is helping his community.
Back in the 1960s, a frugal and quiet bachelor stunned his small Ohio town with the bequest he left for the maintenace of the local rundown cemetery. W.E. Nichols lived an interesting life. From running away from home at 15 to fight in the Spanish-American War to buying scores of Chevron stock certificates off of drunken oil field workers, Mr. Nichols’ young life could be thought of as anything but boring. Of course most of these interesting tidbits, including the fact that he was a multi-millionaire, didn’t come to light until after his passing. The residents of 1960s Grelton Ohio were just as shocked as we are today when learning about a Surprise Millionaire. I guess some things never change!
Meet Dr. Mary Stauffer; medical pioneer, philanthropist, centenarian and (not so surprise) millionaire. Dr. Stauffer marked her 100th birthday last year doing what she does best, giving back to her community. This is one inspiring lady!
We are often fond of saying here at The Surprise Millionaires that, “anyone can accumulate wealth”. I have observed this to be true time and time again even for people who live in the most humble of circumstances. That is why this gentleman and his story really touched me. The very fact that he was able to accumulate so much based on his meager income is completely amazing. However, it is nothing compared to the amazingness of his giving heart. This just goes to show that if you have a goal worth pursuing and the frugalness to live well below your means that anyone can truly accumulate wealth!
There are few people who have not heard of billionaire and financial wizard Warren Buffett. Mr. Buffett’s name is almost synonymous with wealth accumulation and american entrepreneurship. It can also be said that he put his hometown of Omaha Nebraska on the map.
But did you know that Omaha is home to another billionaire? This quiet and humble man has been making a difference in the local community for years, but few know his name.
Meet retired construction executive and local philanthropist Walter Scott and prepare to be inspired: