Local Man Leaves St. Jude Over One Million Dollars

By Kendra Yagow

August 2, 2010 Updated Aug 2, 2010 at 10:23 PM CDT

Jerry Armstrong willed his entire estate - worth around 1 point 5 million dollars, to St. Jude's Children Hospital.

His cousin Ray, who served as executor for his will, said Jerry came up with the idea to leave them the money after watching the St. Jude telethons every year.

Ray described Jerry as a modest man who never married and had children, but spent several years caring for his sick mother.

He also had a passion for collecting antique farm equipment and tinkering with toy tractors - which were actually big ticket items when the family auctioned off his belongings for St. Jude.

Ray says he was surprised to learn how much money Jerry had accumulated through his hobbies. "No, I had no idea and I'm sure he didn't realize how much he was worth either - I mean, I don't know, I'm sure many big farmers know how much they're worth - but I guess he wasn't interested in that," said Ray.

In honor of Jerry's donation, St. Jude sent Ray a plaque of appreciation. Jerry's name also appears on the wall of donors at St. Jude's headquarters in Memphis.

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