Anna Kurzweil who never earned more than $20,000 a year as a teacher and then lived on a thousand-dollar-a-month pension while taking care of her ailing mother on her death, left $2 million to the Jesuits. Her will also included $5,000 for each of several nieces and nephews.
‘“Nobody knew she had that kind of money,”
“I think even the people at the bank were surprised.”’ – Nephew
“Kurzweil ‘exemplified the power of planned giving'” – Jesuit Superior
Anna Kurzweil, who never married and had no children, left relatives puzzled after she left the grand sum in her will – while only leaving them $5,000 a piece. Kurzweil had devoted much of her life to God and at one time had joined the order of Sisters of Loretto.
A former nun who spent her final years ‘living as a maid’ has left a mystery $2 million to a Jesuit society – despite never earning more than $20,000 a year. Anna Kurzweil, who never married and had no children, left relatives puzzled after she gave the grand sum in her will, while only leaving them $5,000 a piece.
While the donation’s recipient, Society of Jesus, may not come as a surprise – Kurzweil had devoted much of her life to God, the hefty sum certainly does.Kurzweil’s relatives told the Kansas City Star that the money must be the result of wise investing and that she was ‘sharp and thrifty’ with money. They said she did inherit a small nest egg left after the family’s three farms were sold and divvied up among the children and saved from there.
Anna Kurzweil (center) at age 14 in a family potrait.
Photo: Sally MorrowReligion News Service
The youngest of eight children on a farm in the Grandview area of Kansas, after college at Warrensburg, she became a schoolteacher. It was in 1935 that she had her heart broken by a fellow teacher.
“Then,” she wrote in her journal, “I made my commitment to live for God.”
After working in a defense plant during World War II, she joined the Sisters of Loretto. But she left the order in 1954 to care for her mother.. After her mother’s death, Kurzweil returned to teaching. She also traveled, and not always for pleasure. She spent six weeks working in a leper colony in New Guinea. Kurzweil died in 2012, aged 100.