LeRoy man leaves $3M legacy

Published 8:04 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Loren Krueger, who left hundreds of thousands of dollars in his will to to the people of LeRoy, celebrates with his wife, Margaret, more than 20 years ago.

There’s not a soul in LeRoy who knew Loren Krueger who has anything bad to say about him.

Everyone seems to remember him as a nice gentleman, very friendly and caring, who’d talk to people he passed on the street and was frugal with his money. It wasn’t a surprise to hear Krueger had left a large portion of his sizable fortune to the town when he died.

“He spoke to everybody,” said Mary Harrington, the housing manager at Wildwood Grove Nursing Home, where Krueger spent the last three years of his life. “He was just the guy you knew, and you always visited with him and talked with him. He was just a good guy.”

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Krueger passed away on March 11, 2009, at 94-years-old, succumbing to illness. He’d been known around town as a good man and a landowner of several farms in the area. When he died, he left hundreds of thousands of dollars to each of LeRoy’s five churches, among other organizations in town like the fire department, the ambulance service, and the town’s senior center.

“You could say the community’s been blessed,” Paul Hamlin, the council president for LeRoy Lutheran Church said.

Krueger left behind almost $3 million in assets when he died. This comes as no surprise, as townsfolk always figured Loren was very frugal with his money. He never seemed to spend a lot of money on himself, preferring to save. There’s still speculation around town about Krueger’s fortune, with rumors flying that he inherited money around nine times in his life and possessed a large amount of stock in Hormel.

Almost all of the churches that received money donated to Wildwood Grove’s kitchen renovation project, allowing the nursing home to update its kitchen and make it stainless steel in order to comply with state mandates.

LeRoy Lutheran fixed a leaky roof over their bell tower and is looking to make the church more handicap accessible, along with other repairs to the parsonage. In addition, they’ve given to a variety of groups and organizations and even set up a scholarship fund for their graduating high school seniors.

“I think everybody was really surprised, the way it was all written up,” Hamlin said of Krueger’s generosity. “I hope it’s an inspiration to others — other people in the community and other surrounding communities. This way, there’s a special meaning behind it. He thought enough of the community to leave it all to them.”

First Presbyterian Church has been able to fix its roof as well, and money will most likely be given to various church missions as well, according to Harlo Wheeler, a member of First Presbyterian’s church council.