Another eccentric, wise and wonderful Surprise Millionaire has left her mark on the people and community in which she lived. Kathy Kinnicutt may have descended from an old New England family, but she was no trust fund baby. In fact, she was even known to have received some charitable help in her earlier days. No, Kathy accumulated her wealth the Surprise Millionaire way; through hard work, frugality and wise investing. And like the Surprise Millionaire she was, Kathy shocked both friends and family with her generous charitable gift.
After smallivy’s reaction to my last post, I thought I had better go with something more uplifting this week. So how about an elderly gentleman who has donated over $400,000 to local Georgia charities simply by using money he earned from recycling! That’s right, bottles, paper and pennies were used to accumulate wealth that has blessed countless people over the years.
Once again I have to stress that “anyone can accumulate wealth”! Even with an often overlooked source of income like recycling.
Once again I have scoured the internet looking for Surprise Millionaires to charm and inspire my readers. And just like always I have found one in the most unlikely of places. This time it was a goat pen!
This one is a tearjerker. I challenge you not to be moved by the story of this Surprise Millionaire’s life who gave it all away for the love of his life…
The house had stood on South Broadway in St. Louis for decades and it had been in the family since 1951. It really wasn’t much to look at; this house from another era. In fact, it sold for just $30,000 in 2013. But oh what stories its walls would tell if they could! Tales of a family barely scraping by, trying to make ends meet. Or of a loving and dutiful son who put his family’s well-being ahead of his own. It is the tale of an American family who not only survived but thrived through adversity. And for that dutiful son, it was a story of hard work, frugality and wise investing that enabled him to “surprise” everyone…
Emil Campbell of Raleigh North Carolina was a true animal lover. He especially had a soft spot for those of the feline persuasion. It so happened that several of the animal shelters in the area were really in need of funding in order to continue their mission of assisting the often neglected and forgotten cat population in the area. Thankfully, Mr. Campbell was able to come through with a “small” donation of $1.7 million!
No, Mr. Campbell was not an executive making a large corporate donation or even a successful business owner who wished to help out the community. Mr. Campbell was just another individual who lived a thrifty lifestyle which enabled him to accumulate a fair bit of wealth. One who knew him described him thus:
“(He was) very frugal. He didn’t work a job that paid him a lot of money, but he pinched his pennies and he saved his money.”
Whether the aim is to live a comfortable retirement, help family members or leave a legacy through community charities, wealth accumulation is possible through hard work, frugality and consistent investing.
Juanita Ellen (Teubner) Schmeeckle was born on Christmas day 1922 during a season of giving that stayed with her the rest of her life. A beautician married to a mechanic, Juanita could always be counted on by friends and family alike. Whenever the chips were down, Juanita would always lend a helping hand. This is why it was no “surprise” to friends and family that this millionaire left behind her $10 million estate for the betterment of children, the disabled, and the elderly. That is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving for years to come.
I recently reported on a Surprise Millionaire who super-sized her saving and wealth accumulation leaving it all to Alzheimer’s charities. However, it appears that we have more than one wealth-accumulating superstar in the bunch.
Eugenia “Gene” Dodson was known as a selfless person who lived her life in such a low-key way that no one knew she was worth millions. This one-time beautician put her money saving and investing habits into overdrive with a single purpose in mind; to leave as much money as possible to the twin charities of diabetes and cancer research.
And that is just what she did, to the tune of $35 million!
Gone are the days when $50,000 would be considered a “fortune” and death at 60 would be considered a long life, but the principles of hard work and frugalness never go out of style!
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
(St. Louis, Missouri)
10 Jul 1926, Sat • Main Edition • Page 2
Flora Cornelia “Neill” Bullock Wilkins lived a quiet life. The widow of a local doctor, Mrs. Wilkins was known around the Fayetteville North Carolina area as a former school teacher and church-going lady who loved her community. It was noted that “She lived quietly and frugally, enjoying her church, family and old friends.”
By all accounts, Mrs. Wilkins was no society matron or jet-setting physician’s wife but rather the spouse of an old-fashioned small town doctor from days gone by. A time when doctors made house calls and would work with patients who didn’t always have the means to pay. There weren’t many jet-setting vacations for these types of physicians.
This is why many charities and institutions in the area were stunned to learn that they were the recipients of Mrs. Wilkins’ $2.7 million estate! What a wonderful gift from a wonderful lady.