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!
According to his family, Vietnam War vet Steven Williams lived the frugal life of a bachelor. Fond of golf, travel and investing, Steve worked for the same company for over 30 years saving and investing all the while.
Like most servicemen involved in the Vietnam conflict, Steve did not receive the homecoming afforded to veterans of previous wars. However, all that has now changed.
Upon Steve’s passing in 2018, the Minnesota Veterans Home was thrilled to receive a nearly $3 million bequest from Steve’s $14 million estate!
Thanks to Steve’s generosity, countless Veterans will be afforded the care they so rightly deserve. The Gov. of Minnesota must have been impressed as well. So much so that he declared a specific “Steve Williams Day” in honor of the gift. Thankfully, this soldier and Surprise Millionaire finally received the recognition he so greatly deserved.
An enterprising math teacher thought of an inventive way to teach his students exactly what a “million” meant. This is just one of the many ways this dedicated teacher, train engineer and business owner found to help his students, both past and present, as well as the community of Winona Minnesota at large. Is it any “surprise” that this unassuming man would turn out to be a very wealthy man? If you are a regular reader of this blog I think you know the answer to that!
Long before the debit card changed the landscape of the financial industry, check printing was a business that thrived in America. While today, most millennials would be hard pressed to describe the purpose and use of the paper check, it was a staple in the lives of most people during the 20th Century. Which brings me to the story of a most enterprising young lady who got in on the ground floor of this emerging industry. And how some simple stock purchases grew to make this young lady a “Surprise Millionaire Deluxe” .
A one time farmer and sporting goods store manager gives back to small communities in his area. His frugality and wise investing allows him to bless others with the fruits of his labor. Though he lives a nondescript middle-class lifestyle, he gives like the millionaire he is. Mr. Paulson is an inspiration and very fitting of the title “Surprise Millionaire”.
Tiny Lake Lillian Minnesota (population 238) and the surrounding county of Kandyohi will all share in a $6.4 million estate left by a one-time local girl who made good. This “Chainsaw Millionaire’s” widow left quite a surprise for the hometown crowd! It’s nice when people remember where they came from and give back to their communities.