Man who lived modestly leaves millions in surprise donations - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man who lived modestly leaves millions in surprise donations

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BRATTLEBORO, VT. (AP) - A Vermont man known for frugally foraging for firewood has bequeathed millions of dollars to his local library and hospital.

Ronald Read left $4.8 million to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and $1.2 million to the Brooks Memorial Library upon his death in June at the age of 92. The Brattleboro Reformer (http://bit.ly/1bI41RH) reports they're the largest gifts either has received.

Read served in World War II before returning home in 1945. He was a private, modest man who worked at a service station for nearly 25 years, then at JC Penney until 1997.

But lawyer Laurie Rowell says Read had two hobbies: cutting firewood and picking stocks. She says over time, his investments "grew substantially."

The institutions who received the surprise donations say they'll be transformative.

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