Described as quiet, frugal, and shy, Dale Schroeder was a modest man who owned two pairs of jeans, but through his generosity, he left an enormous legacy, reports KCCI Des Moines.
The Iowa native worked for 67 years at the same carpentry business and never married or had children. What no one knew is that as he went about his day to day life as a “blue collar, lunch pail kind of guy” as his friend and attorney Steve Nielsen described him Schroeder was quietly plotting a way to make a big difference.
Schroeder had put aside his steady earnings for a purpose: helping those who grew up poor like he had get an education.
Thanks to Schroeder’s hard work and frugality that nest egg amounted to a whopping $3 million.
According to Nielsen who he came to for advice, Schroeder’s humble explanation that he was going to donate a fortune came as a shock.
“Finally I was curious and I said ‘How much are we talking about Dale?’ and he said ‘Oh just shy of $3 million’ and I nearly fell out of my chair.”
Schroeder told Nielsen that he wanted to help give kids the opportunity to go to college that he never had. When he passed away in 2005 that money went to put 33 economically disadvantaged Iowa students through college on full rides.
Kira Conard, one of the scholarship recipients who now refer to themselves as “Dale’s Kids” told KCCI about the life-changing nature of Schroeder’s donation, and said she immediately broke down in tears when she was told that her dream of going to college had just been made possible by a man she’d never met.
Fourteen years after his passing, and with many of them now successful professionals, “Dale’s Kids” recently met to honor the man who made the lives they have possible.
Schroeder’s trusty lunch pail, the carpenter’s companion during all those years of working and saving, was on display.
h/t: KCCI Des Moines