Schoolteacher Anna Kurzweil, who made less than $25,000 a year, was not known as a wealthy person. She came from a farm outside of the Kansas City metro area and worked as a teacher after graduating college. She also took a job in a factory to produce airplanes during World War II.
A deeply religious woman, Kurzweil joined a religious order after the war. However, before taking her final vows she left to take care of her mother who had grown ill. Kurzweil returned to teaching and made less than $25,000 year.
Eventually, she retired and lived on a modest pension. Thus, it was a surprise when she passed away in 2012 and bequeathed $2 million to the Jesuits.
Religious News Service reported this story in "Kansas City teacher astonishes with $2 million gift to Jesuits."
Kurzweil's secret to amassing her fortune was simple. She lived modestly and frugally. She invested her money wisely and let it grow. It also probably helped that she never married and never had children.
Reference: Religious News Service (Feb. 9, 2016) "Kansas City teacher astonishes with $2 million gift to Jesuits."