It’s A British Invasion!

“He never gave any indication of being wealthy. In fact, you would say he lived quite frugally.”

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That’s right, it’s ANOTHER Surprise Millionaire from the United Kingdom.  That’s three recently if you are keeping count.  This gentleman was a retired railway worker who saved his wages and pension in order to leave a legacy to his local medical community.

I don’t know for sure but we might have another British Invasion on our hands.  But we should welcome this one since the Surprise Millionaire mantra of living frugally, saving and investing wisely is great for everyone on both sides of the pond!

 

Scottish Gold

“Jane was never one for being front and centre and she was very frugal with her money and nobody could have guessed she was worth so much.”

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ThistleMrs. Jane Hutton from Aberdeen Scotland was known as a very frugal sort.  This animal lover and one-time secretary was never showy or sought to be in the spotlight.  In fact, she always took the background parts in the theatre group she belonged to.  No, Jane was content to spend her time with friends and enjoying low-cost and fun activities in her Northen Scottish city.  Thus she had all of the makings of a Surprise Millionaire!

 

 

The Consummate Professional

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Sylvia Bloom was a legal secretary who was described as a consummate professional by those who knew her.   She worked for the same law firm for 67 years until she retired at the ripe old age of 96!  But Sylvia the consummate professional had a secret.  During her early years, Sylvia’s job as a secretary included making personal investments for the partners of her law firm.  Whatever the law partners invested in, Sylvia invested in as well (in a smaller amount of course).  This turned out to be a great investment strategy, to the tune of $9 million!

The Jet Set Millionaire

No, don’t let the title fool you.  The millionaire in question was not some corporate titan or Hollywood celebrity flying the friendly skies in first class.  Oh no, this millionaire was the flight attendant who served them!

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Read more about her legacy at the York County Community Foundation (YCCF).

An Immeasurable Legacy

 

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Here at the Surprise Millionaires, we often report on an individual who has recently passed indicating that their bequests will result in a lasting legacy.  Today, we have the opportunity to see that legacy come to its fruition.

This past January, the final sum of Surprise Millionaire John A. Johnson’s twenty year trust was delivered to the Salvation Army of Chautauqua County, New York.  Mr. Johnson, a quiet and frugal Swedish immigrant, had left an estate worth $7 million back in 1996 to the people of Chautauqua County and specifically to his hometown of Jamestown.

Mr. Johnson had been a factory worker and carpenter throughout his life and was also a shrewd investor.  He was known to be a follower of the “buy and hold” strategy.   Once he bought a stock, he never sold.  That strategy certainly paid off for him!

For the past twenty years Mr. Johnson’s millions have stayed right in the community he loved and benefited the human services programs administered by the Salvation Army.  The ripple effect of Mr. Johnson’s legacy cannot be measured!  What a blessing he was to his community!

 

The Thrifty Way To Happiness

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I have always known it to be true but now there appears to be some proof.  The more thrifty a person is has a direct correlation to their happiness and life satisfaction.  At least according to this article and the poll they reference.  Now we know why our Surprise Millionaires always seem like such happy and content people!

He Engineered His Success

“In an age of pretension that’s often self-aggrandizing, he was the opposite..”

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Pennsylvania mechanical engineer, Raymond Suckling, lived a modest life.  Fond of White Castle hamburgers and the chipped beef served at his local diner, Mr. Suckling would not be described as a connoisseur of the finer things in life.  That is unless you count the fine quality of his friendships and his sterling character.

Mr. Suckling’s life did start out with what one might think of as somewhat privileged.  The son of a business executive, Raymond was afforded a good education even after his father’s death when Raymond was only a boy.  But it appears that the “silver spoon” stopped there.  Mr. Suckling’s adult life was characterized by hard work, sound investing and a frugal, unassuming character.

As you can imagine, it was quite a shock to his friends and associates when they learned that Mr. Suckling had left an estate totaling $37.1 million to a Pittsburgh area charity.

Who would have thought that the man who was fond of Velcro sneakers, drove a Subaru and loved White Castle hamburgers was the same man who accumulated $37.1 million? No one, apparently!  While some reports state that the majority of Raymond’s wealth was inherited, those who knew him best indicate that it was a combination of inherited and accumulated wealth due to Ray’s unassuming frugal ways.

Regardless of the origin of his wealth, it was Mr. Suckling’s unassuming thrifty lifestyle which allowed him to make such a dynamic impact on his community and change lives for the better.