Richard Leroy Walters died a couple of years ago, leaving behind $4,000,000. Per his wishes, the money was divided between NPR, a Catholic mission in Phoenix, and several other non-profits.
Despite his wealth, Walters didn’t own a car. Or a home.
[Friend Rita] Belle knew him as a very well-informed man who could fix her air conditioning — someone she just assumed had a place to live. Then he told her that he had no home. She heard that he slept on the grounds of the senior center. He told her he ate at the hospital and used a telephone there or at the center.
“He just gave up all of the material things that we think we have to have,” Belle says. “You know, I don’t know how we gauge happiness. What’s happy for you might not be happy for me. I never heard him complain.”
Oh… and he was an atheist. Gotta include that detail 🙂
“He was an atheist and I’m a very profound practicing Catholic, and I’d never met an atheist,” Belle says. “And that just blew my mind that somebody could not believe in the Lord.”
Walters was kind, living (very) modestly, generous, and apparently quite humble.
Tell me why we need religion to have morals again?