After growing up poor and working as a house maid, woman secretly dies a millionaire

Ingram Atkinson

A 37-year-old lady called Thelma Howard was hired as a full-time cleaner at Walt Disney's enormous mansion in 1951. Thelma had lived in abject poverty her entire life. She had always held low-paying jobs. She didn't like it, but when she met Walt Disney, everything changed. Waltz kids were largely disregarded by the old housekeeper before Thelma and were seen as a hindrance. 

But as soon as Thelma got there, she rapidly grew connected to them, feeding them often and even engaging in play. She was so skilled at ensuring Walthad got everything he needed that he soon thought she had made the mansion a lot cozier and nicer place than it had been.

She was referred to as a real-life Mary Poppins. After working with the Disney family for 30 years, she eventually grew to be so close to them that she was nearly family herself. Her family was astonished to learn that she owned $9.5 million in Disney shares at the time of her death in 1994. Since she had never spent any of it and had kept it a secret from anyone, everyone had assumed she was still in poverty. 

However, it turns out that she simply kept the secret of the stock that had been given to her every year for performing her job so well because she was content and didn't require it. She donated the other half to charity.

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