This retired nurse with a big heart wowed her central Iowa community with very generous gifts disbursed to many area organizations. She left a gift of $130,165 to a local school district which was only a small portion of her wealth. She additionally, left substantial funds to a local Fire Department, a Senior Citizen Center anda local college . Her gifts were a true work of “heart” for her community.
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!
Eighty-one year old Alabama resident, Louis Mapp, spends his days in a way that is probably different from many of his peers. USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile is very fortunate to have Mr. Mapp as a dedicated volunteer in the NICU unit rocking, feeding and caring for premature babies who can’t always have their parents with them. The Hospital has another reason for being grateful to Mr. Mapp and his wife Melinda as well. Namely the $1 million donation they gave to the NICU unit to assist with its ongoing operation.
I have had the pleasure of following Dave Ramsey and his organization for quite some time. Dave is well known for helping people get out of debt and also helping them to accumulate some wealth along the way. He uses financial concepts found in biblical scripture as well as plain common sense to help people reach their financial goals.
One of Dave’s most popular segments from his podcast/radio show is the “Millionaire Theme Hour” in which regular folks who are currently millionaires call in and explain how they reached this milestone. During one of these segments I was happy to hear from a lady who we would describe as a Surprise Millionaire. This particular lady related how she accumulated her wealth by living below her means and investing wisely. It is a rare chance to hear a Surprise Millionaire in their own words so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to introduce “Terry from Denver” to my readers. Enjoy!
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.