Genevieve Via Cava spent 45 years working as a special education teacher in Dumont, New Jersey. She was known as a no-frills woman who clipped coupons and lived with minimal expenses. She never took vacations and would often wear the same rotation of clothes. She had no immediate family.
But Genevieve absolutely loved working with her students, and that’s where she truly shined.
Even after she retired in 1990, Genevieve would regularly pop back into the school to check on classes, say hi to the children, and chat with the superintendent.
In October of 2011, Genevieve passed away at the age of 88.
A few weeks after she died, school administrators received a check from Genevieve’s estate attorney.
“Estate attorney?” they thought. “We didn’t even know she had an estate!”
That’s when the stunning truth — and the bigger picture — emerged. As it turned out, the no-nonsense, modest-living former teacher had been keeping a gigantic secret from not only the school district but also those who knew and loved her most.
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