Wis. widow donates $100,000 to build new park

  • Associated Press
  • December 25, 2013 - 5:10 PM

MIDDLETON, Wis. — An 82-year-old widow who never had children is donating $100,000 for the city of Middleton to begin work on a new 11-acre park, saying she and her late husband used to get so much joy out of watching kids play.

Lucille Taylor was never a wealthy woman. She cleaned houses for a living, and her husband used to drive trucks and fix engines. But by living a thrifty lifestyle and making smart investments, she was able to build up enough of a nest egg to fulfill the dream she and her husband shared, the Wisconsin State Journal reported ( ).

"We always loved to watch children play in parks," Taylor said. "We talked about this before my husband's death and decided it was something we wanted to do."

Her husband, Harvey Taylor, died eight years ago. She said the two had their share of fun, traveling across the U.S. and the world, but they also lived sensibly.

The donation left city officials stunned and grateful.

"You just don't see that kind of generosity very often," Penni Klein, the city's public lands manager, told the newspaper.

Taylor originally planned to bequeath the money after her death because she didn't want anyone to know about it. But she changed her mind after hearing of plans for a new park. A slice of the proposed park was once part of the Taylor family farm, and she decided the opportunity to honor her family's name and history trumped her desire for anonymity.

The new park will now be called the Harvey John and Lucille Taylor Memorial Park. Officials are hoping to open a playground there in the spring, and the space will eventually include three football fields as well as hiking and biking trails.

"I'm glad I did this so I know where the money's going," Taylor said. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I live to see it when it's done."

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