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Elderly millionaire spent his final years working as a watchman

By Mirror | February 6th 2015 at 11:47:56 GMT +0300

USA: A 92-year-old man who worked at a petrol station has stunned a community after he died and left millions to help his town.

Ronald Read appeared to live a frugal life having spent his time working as a store janitor and petrol station attendant but in reality he had amassed a £5.2million fortune.

After he passed away last year, nobody thought Ronald would leave much behind but it was not until last week that the residents of Brattleboro in Vermont would discover his little secret.

That's when the local library and hospital received the bulk of his estate, built up over the years with savvy stock picks. Ronald left £780,000 to the library and £3.1 million to the hospital.

Laurie Rowell, his lawyer, told how his client loved to read the Wall Street Journal and this, he believes, is where the quiet man grew his fortune from.

He said: "Investing and cutting wood, he was good at both of them.”

Last week, Brooks Memorial Library and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital each received their largest bequests ever.

"It was a thunderbolt from the sky," said the library’s executive director, Jerry Carbone.

While a surprise, he said the gift made sense once he learned more about the quiet, shy library patron appropriately named Read.

Mr Carbone said: "Being a self-made man with his investments, he recognised the transformative nature of a library, what it can do for people.”

Ronald graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1940 and during World War II served in North Africa, Italy and thePacific theatre.

Returning home, he worked at Haviland's service station and then as a janitor at a JCPenney store, marrying a woman with two children.

His stepchildren survive him but were not immediately available for comment.

Elderly millionaire Ronald Read Haviland's service station
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