If you were to ask her friends and neighbors, 93-year-old Queenie Cunningham was a very nice lady who was considered an asset to her small Scottish highland town. The retired secretary who suffered from the after effects of polio and had spent time in an iron lung as a young woman, never let her disability slow her down. She grew her own vegetables, was an ardent animal lover and never missed an episode of her favorite soap operas. All in all she was quite the character.
These days Queenie is more known for the amazing gifts she left her favorite charities after her 2017 passing. Most of her secret 2.2 million pound estate is currently shared by such organizations as the Salvation Army, the British Red Cross and Highland Hospice.
While the fact that Queenie was so generous upon her passing surprised no one, the fact that she was a multi-millionaire certainly did! This humble, quiet and most generous woman should be an inspiration to us all.
A littletechnical college in Milwaukee received a surprising gift a few years ago that has been assisting students with the cost of schooling ever since. And to think, all of this from a little old lady who took some sewing and painting classes at the college after her retirement. Another Surprise Millionaire has left their legacy and made their mark on the local community!
There has been a flurry of news reports coming from the Pacific Northwest over the past few months regarding donations made from a multi-millionaire’s estate. Organizations
ranging from local museums to state parkshave received assistance from a trust set up by millionaire Elizabeth ‘Bette’ Ruth Wallace.
So who was this Bette Wallace? Was she some high society grand dame looking to leave her mark through philanthropy? Or maybe a high powered executive who had earned top dollar during her career? No, Bette was neither of those things but was still pretty grand none the less.
Bette and her husband Bryan were the owners of a small drug store that they worked very hard to make a success. Through that hard work, the Wallaces were able to grow a little nest egg. After Bryan’s passing, Bette took that little nest egg and invested in several rental properties in a northern California area to bring in some income. It just so happened that in the years that followed, that particular northern California area, the one where Bette had her little rental properties, would go on to be renamed Silicon Valley! Much to her ‘surprise’, Bette had become a ‘Surprise Real Estate Mogul’.
However despite this financial windfall, Bette never lived extravagantly and always stayed just the same person she had always been. It was this ‘surprise’ real estate empire which allowed Bette to leave such a wonderful legacy to the communities in which she had called home. It seems Bette found the right ‘prescription’ for success.
As I have done in the past, I have the unfortunate task of profiling a Surprise Millionaire who met with foul play because they didn’t have the appropriate precautions in place to keep their wealth a secret. A Columbus Ohio property ownerand landlady made it a habit to deal only in cash when collecting rent and kept a large sum of that money on her person at all times. Unfortunately, this was a situation that an acquaintance sought to take advantage of. The resulting robbery ended with the demise of this much-loved lady. Though she is no longer with us, it is my hope her story will be a word of caution to all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there. Remember, it is best to keep your wealth a closely guarded secret known only to your closest confidants. Living a low-key lifestyle could actually be the “key” to safety.