After working at the GM Flint plant in Michigan for nearly 35 years, Gary Kendrick had saved up enough money to call himself a millionaire. However, no one knew about Kendrick’s fortune until after his passing, when he donated $1.1 million to children’s charities.
According to a recent report from regional ABC news affiliate WJRT-TV (channel 12), Kendrick was hired to work at the GM Flint plant in 1972, eventually retiring in 2006. Kendrick didn’t have any close friends or family, and coworkers describe him as being quiet. Ryan Buchalski, who worked alongside Kendrick at the GM Flint plant, remembers Kendrick fondly, saying that although he was a man of few words, the two still had a lot of fun.
“We were building those fine UAW 598 built trucks. I was working on the box line over there with Gary. We were working in the body shop, we were spot welding together for 10 hours a day,” he said.
Several years after retiring, Kendrick contacted Estate Attorney Dawn Weier, whom he found in the phone book, hiring Weier as the executor and representative of his estate. After Kendrick passed in February of 2021 at the age of 67, Weier began to discover the extent of Kendrick’s assets, which included a GM profit sharing plan worth more than $1.3 million.
Although Kendrick did not have any close friends or family with whom to share the money, he did want to help out sick kids. As such, he decided to donate his fortune to the Make A Wish Foundation and St. Judes Children’s Hospital, with $563,275 donated to each charity.
Buchalski says he is proud to have known Kendrick, telling WJRT-TV that his story is just what the world needs right now. Weier also expresses gratitude to have met Kendrick, saying that she is honored to carry out his legacy.
“I’m very glad that he chose me and it was just a fluke that he picked me in the phone book that day,” Weier told WJRT-TV.