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!
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.
This Surprise Millionaire invested completely in the auto industry, but it is not what you think!
What a great story! A low-key St. Louis area couple who operated a machine shop for many years left their entire estate ($25 million!) to two area Children’s hospitals. I think the statement in the article that sums it up best said, “To meet him, you’d never get the impression that he was a man of wealth. He was quite a guy … He knew how to live.”
The video below shows St. Louis area resident Waldemar Klasing celebrating his 100th birthday in 2011. Mr. Klasing passed away in 2012 leaving a little something for his alma mater Washington University – a $1 million donation from a Surprise Millionaire! By now, you all know the story, no one knew he had “that kind of money”. That is undoubtedly just the way he wanted it!
An immigrant couple who overcame great odds leave their entire estate to the United States of America. They wanted to thank their adopted home for the great opportunities given to them.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!!