The lifelong resident of Brattleboro, Vermont, left $6 million of his fortune to his local library and hospital.
"It was the talk of the town," Brooks Memorial Library director Starr LaTronica told CNBC of the generous $1.2 million library donation. "People still come in and ask about it and reference it."
The library invested the bulk of the money. That way, "it will continue to pay dividends and support us down the road," LaTronica said. The donation also allowed the library to extend its hours and do some much-needed renovations to the 50-year-old building.
Read bequeathed $4.8 million to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, where he was a regular — not for treatment, but for breakfast. "He always had a cup of coffee and an English muffin with peanut butter," Ellen Smith said of her friend's morning ritual at the hospital cafe. "That was it. And he always sat at the exact same stool at the counter."
The hospital plans to use the money to support infrastructure improvements and general modernization projects. "There are multiple areas in the hospital that need to be updated, and so this money will certainly allow us to do that," Gina Pattison, director of development and marketing at the hospital, told CNBC. "We are just incredibly fortunate and grateful."