DOVER, N.H. – A blue collar worker in Dover, N.H., who died in August left $1 million to two organizations benefiting children and animals.

Ronald Newell divided the money between the Dover Children’s Home and the Cocheco Valley Humane Society.

Foster’s Daily Democrat reported that Newell was 78 when he died. He was a private person who worked for Eastern Air Devices and General Electric in Connecticut before driving a truck for 18 years.

On Tuesday, Mark Speidel, executor of Newell’s estate, present two $275,000 checks to the two organizations, the first of two payments in what will amount to $550,000 to each.

Speidel said Newell understood the importance of both the home and the humane society and hoped to do something about it.

“I’m proud of him,” Speidel said. “This has been one of the greatest days of my life.”

Leslie Heindl, executive director of the Humane Society, said Newell adopted a pair of cats from the shelter many years ago, one of which is still alive at 23. She said Newell had made small donations to them before, but receiving the big check left her stunned.

She said much of the money would go toward funding a new facility for the humane society, and she plans to name a room after Newell.

Donna Coraluzzo, the executive director of the children’s home, couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

“I never knew this man who considered our financial future and the great work we do here,” Coraluzzo said. “It’s definitely a Christmas blessing.”

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