Luther's generosity secretly helped pay for local college educations
Local radio and television legend Luther Masingill said he wanted to be remembered as "a nice guy." His kindness is responsible for paying for several college educations in the Chattanooga community.
One family went to church with the Masingill's at the old Avondale Baptist Church. Their young daughter had her heart set on going to college in the late 1960's. But her family didn't have enough money saved up.
"And he (Luther) found out I wanted to go to college," said Hope Clark of Hixson, "And he talked to Daddy privately and asked Daddy if it'd be alright if he put me through college. And of course my dad said yes because we didn't have the money to go to college."
READ MORE | Luther asked to be remembered "As a nice guy"
If Clark had to guess, she thinks Luther gave her family close to $8,000 so she could attend Carson-Newman University from 1966 through 1970.
"That was just unheard of," Clark said, "Nobody else would have done that but Luther, he was just so generous and kind."
Clark hopes Luther knew how his act of kindness changed her life.
"Having that college degree has opened up doors for me all my life."
Luther helped Clark get her education, and also her family. Clark met her husband during her first year at Carson-Newman.
"That was a bonus!" Clark laughed, "Which wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for Luther."
Clark majored in religion, minored in sociology and later got her master's degree in nursing. She says Luther never said a word about how her family was able to afford it.
"He didn't even know that I knew," Clark said, "He wanted me to think mother and daddy were giving me the money."
Years after graduating from college, Clark found out from her parents that her education wasn't the only one Luther financed.
She found out several other people from their church community were also given the same generosity.