Shock as former janitor leaves $6 million to local hospital and library

A former janitor, who lived 170 miles north of New York city and was invariably seen in public with a tattered old coat held together by safety pins, shocked his local community when he died – or more particularly when his will was read.

The town of Dummerston was stunned when the will of 92-year-old former janitor, Ronald Read, was disclosed last week

The town of Dummerston was stunned when the will of 92-year-old former janitor, Ronald Read, was disclosed last week Image by Redjar / CC BY 2.0

The 92-year-old whose appearance suggested penury was in fact a seriously wealthy person able to pass on $6 million to his two favourite charities on his death.

Ronald Read, from Dummerston, left Vermont library and hospital a massive $6 million between them in his will.

He saved this vast amount from a series of investments down the decades which saw him total up an $8 million fortune, the London Independent reports. The announcement of the beneficiaries was made by his lawyer Laurie Rowell, who declared: “You’d never know the man was a millionaire.”

He told a story of the last time Mr Read had come to his office and how he had parked his second hand old Yaris far away where there were no meters to save money.

The man took part in the Second World War and on return was employed at a gas station for 25 years. He then worked as a janitor at JCPenney store for a further 17 years.

There were whoops of delight last week when Brooks Memorial Library got a cash injection of $1.2 million from the will while Brattleboro Memorial Hospital got an even more impressive $4.8 million.

“This is a thunderbolt from the sky,” declared Jerry Carbone, the library’s executive director.