Ronald Read-Ronald Read Estate

Ronald Read always lived frugally – which is why his family was astonished to discover that the former JC Penny janitor and gas station attendant had saved an $8 million fortune.

Read had owned 95 stocks before he passed away, including big names such as Dow Chemical, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, and CVS Health. Favoring paper and ink rather than modern phone apps, Read had kept stacks of his investment certificates locked in a safe deposit box for decades.

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When the 92-year-old Brattleboro, Vermont resident passed away in June 2014, he had bequeathed $1.2 million of his savings to the Brooks Memorial Library where he frequented, and $4.8 million to the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital where he had an English muffin with peanut butter and coffee every morning.

Both establishments plan on using to the donations to undergo much-needed renovations on their aged buildings, as well as taking a leaf out of Read’s book and investing money for the future.

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