An Influential Person

lucilletaylor28229No one would call her an influential person … until now. Lucille Taylor lived her entire life in and around the small town of Middleton Wisconsin.  During her formative years, she worked on her family’s fruit and dairy farm. Having left school after the eighth grade to care for her ailing mother and younger siblings, she didn’t have the opportunity for an advanced education that might help her land a job paying more than minimum wage .

She soon married a young man of similar background and they proceeded to make their way in the world with her cleaning houses and he driving trucks.   Besides their meager circumstances, this young couple also endured the additional heartache of never being able to have the children they so wanted.

The Taylors persevered through these circumstances living the classic hard-working life typical of many americans.  However, never let it be said that the Taylors didn’t know how to enjoy life!  Throughout their lives they managed to travel to nearly all 50 states and even did some international travel as well.

However, even with their frequent travels the Taylors never failed to save and invest a portion of their limited income with the hopes of having a nest egg for their retirement years.

This brings us to 2013 when the now widowed Lucille wanted to use a portion of that “nest egg” to enhance the lives of the children of Middleton.  After considering several options, she settled on a $100,000 donation to begin work on a city park with more to follow over the coming years!  The people of Middleton were shocked by this wonderful gesture.

But wait, there’s more.  The local business community was so impressed by Lucille’s vision and spirit of giving that they stepped up as well to raise additional funding to get the park properly launched.  As a result, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Harvey John & Lucille Taylor Memorial Park was held on May 11, 2015 with Lucille as the guest of honor!

And the accolades just kept on coming!  Lucille was subsequently honored with the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association’s 2015 Fellowship Award once again as the guest of honor.

We could all learn a lot from the life of Lucille Taylor. She is the perfect example that living below your means while saving and investing could make any of us wealthy some day. More importantly though, following these concepts could give all of us that same opportunity to become an influential person in our own communities just like Lucille.

The Humble Highlander

“She was extremely frugal. She wasn’t at all ostentatious.”

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thistleIf 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.

 

The Value of Education

‘She felt that if you were well-educated, you could do anything’

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A little technical college in Milwaukee received a surprising gift a few years ago thatMarian Drake Breskar (2) 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!

The Prescription For Success

‘She wanted to see things be done, and leave a legacy.’

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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

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Bryan and Bette at Bryan’s Drug

ranging from local museums to state parks have 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.