Unlikely philanthropists – Women toiled in obscurity

Two elderly British women who devoted their lives to cleaning their local church and baking to raise parish funds have left millions to charity, Reuters reported on June 9.

Mary Coyle, 88, left nearly $28 million in her will to a charitable trust she established with Florence Reakes, who left $12 million to the trust when she died in 1996.

Reakes’ fortune has grown to an estimated $25 million since it was placed in a portfolio by the trust – making a grand total of more than $52 million left between the two women.

The women were left their fortune by Reakes’ uncle, Manchester textiles manufacturer Albert Hunt, after whom the trust is named.

The trust distributes interest accumulated on its endowment to 350 charities throughout England, including homeless organizations and youth projects.

For a full text of the article, go to Reuters.

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