Some of you might remember the little man at the corner store, Leonard Gigowski, the Milwaukee resident with the amazing knack for growing and maintaining wealth. Well, I was amazed when I recently found another story about a Surprise Millionaire who lived an almost identical life! Buffalo’s Waldemar Kaminski was also the sole proprietor of a corner store just like Mr. Gigowski, both men were butchers by trade, unmarried and of polish heritage. But most importantly, both men exhibited the Surprise Millionaire virtues of frugality and consistent, long-term investing. It should also be noted that both men loved their respective communities and wanted to leave a lasting legacy which they both did in amazing ways!
Meet Waldemar Kaminski:
A British transplant to the Isle of Skye leaves a wealth (2 million pounds!) of goodwill to her adopted home. Pauline Pettefar moved to the northern Scottish coastal island of Skye some thirty years ago after a long career as a paralegal in her brother’s law office back in England. It appears the enterprising Miss Pettefar was able to accumulate quite a bit of wealth throughout her lifetime in which to bless the good people of Skye. Organizations as diverse as the Crossroads Care Charity Shop to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution will benefit from Miss Pettefar’s estate. It is heartwarming to know that this very private, but very generous lady thought so much of the community that welcomed her so many years ago.
It looks as though Aberdeen Scotland has another Surprise Millionaire to boast about. If you recall, last year we profiled Aberdeen resident Mrs. Jane Hutton and her amazing wealth-building ability. This year, we can add Aberdeen’s own Agnes “Nessie” Bruce to the list. The frugal and mild-mannered Mrs. Bruce who passed away in 2018, left a secret 1.3 million pound estate to be split between many worthwhile charities around Scotland. According to relatives, Mrs. Bruce was a really nice woman who was fond of knitting, needlework, and travel. I’m sure her relatives are proud to know that the fortune left by this very sweet person will benefit many in the immediate community as well as Scotland as a whole.
The schools in Perham Minnesota are currently sharing in a $1 million bequest left to them by a retired nurse with only vague ties to the community. Deloris “Dee” Barnack Kenner, a retired nurse who passed away in 2015 lived and worked in many places. However, Perham Minnesota was not one of them. Other than records indicating that Barnack Kenner’s parents were buried in the area, the local schools are at a loss as to why they are the beneficiaries of such a wonderful gift. That is not to say, however, that they are not thrilled! Ms. Barnack Kenner’s legacy will be put to good use assisting with the education of students in that community. At present though, she remains a bit of a mystery. I believe that is the way most of our Surprise Millionaires like it!
Ms. Barnack Kenner is not the first nurse we have profiled with a big heart and the ability to accumulate and maintain wealth, and she most probably won’t be the last!
The Australian National University was recently shocked to learn that they are the beneficiaries of a portion of the $22 million fortune amassed by a quiet and frugal couple.
Bruce and Jenny Pryor lived a quiet life and were known for their generous and humble natures. So it was very concerning to friends and family when they learned that both the Pryors were suffering from auto-immune disorders later in life. However, true to form, the Pryors bore these life-altering conditions with the same quite and humble demeanor which had become their trademark.
Unfortunately, both Bruce and Jenny lost their battle to their respective diseases in 2017. However, not long after it was discovered that the Pryors, in addition to being humble, were also multi-millionaires who had left a $10 million bequest from their secret fortune to the Australian National University for the study of auto-immune disorders. Not to be outdone, the University of Sydney can boast of a $12 million bequest left by the Pryors as well.
Relatives relate that it was the wish of the Pryors to empower and give researchers the tools they need to find cures for auto-immune disorders. Once again, we have a lasting legacy left by the Surprise Millionaires.