Gilmer Hinson retired from the military in 1969 after a long career. He settled down in Jonesville, North Carolina in a small stone house and got a job sweeping floors at Lowe’s Home Improvement. In the 70's and 80's Lowes stock prices were very low and the company encouraged employees to reinvest their wages in the company. Gilmer did that as he worked his way up the company ladder over a 40-year career. When he retired at age 80, he was part of the team opening new Lowes around the country. He also had 75,000 shares of Lowes that were worth about 3 million! Rather than go crazy with it he set up a trust, which grew to be worth $10-million!
Hinson’s wife,Betty, passed away last month and after that, he decided he didn’t need any of that $10-million, so he gave it away to honor her. He donated all of it to seven North Carolina-based charities and organizations.
Each of the following received $1.4 million in Lowe's stock from Hinson's trust fund:
- The Wolfe Foundation
- Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation
- Surry Community College
- First Baptist Church of Elkin
- Falls Creek Baptist Church
- Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College
- Elkin Academic Enrichment Foundation
“I’ve had a good drive,” Hinson says. “But you don’t have to have money to have a good life.”