KEMPTVILLE — Audrey McClenaghan was a secretary at Kemptville College for 38 years, retiring in 1990. She was well-known for being unassuming and clever and took pride in saving her money by buying second-hand clothes.
She only lived in two houses all her life. She grew up a single child in Kemptville until she and her parents moved to the house next door. She never married, never moved out, never paid rent or a mortgage. When she died two years ago, the 1976 Buick in the garage had racked up a mere 67,000 kilometres. She rarely used it. She walked everywhere.
So, it came as a big surprise when her former colleague, communications professor Terry Meagher, (also Farmers Forum founder), got a phone call saying that she left a $4-million estate and $50,000 was for him.
Meagher recalled that McClenaghan had been a shrewd investor and an extraordinary colleague. “She put her heart into her work,” he said.
He had visited her frequently in her last years, including visits to the local Kemptville hospital. But he recalled one day when she told him that she had been treated so badly by a hospital staff member that she went home and called her lawyer to strike the hospital from her will.
The hospital staff member might never know of the consequence of her slight “but it was a $2 million insult,” Meagher said.
Much of the money was diverted to recently buying a 3,100 sq. ft. house near Kemptville for a hospice. But until now, only a few knew that the hospice was financed by a clever secretary you didn’t mess with.