Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Monday, September 01, 2014 at 04:17:29 :
April 23, 1962
Love Thy Neighbor
He Left Marin Friends $70,000
A man who devoted much of his personal life to caring for a crippled brother has left to neighbors and friends in Marin County a sizeable fortune that none of them knew he had.
Carl A. Luhrs, who lived at 93 San Pedro Road in San Rafael before his death March 31, left a “considerable estate” (estimated at well over $70,000) to 15 county residents, 10 of them near neighbors who had often looked in on the 78-year-old man to make sure all was well with him.
“He remembered everybody who was nice to him,” said Mrs. Prosper F. Rufer, his next door neighbor. The Rufers’ three children, Prosper F. Rufer Jr., 13, Mark E. Rufer, 8, and Susette C. Rufer, 4, will go to college with money Luhrs left them.
Luhrs, who, according to friends lived a quiet and methodical life, left a fourth of his estate to E. Harvey and Eleanor Morrill, 17 Marina Boulevard, San Rafael, described as his closest personal friends.
A fifth of the money, accumulated from stocks and bonds Luhrs had bought years ago, will go to Paul Cocco, 136 Scenic Road, Fairfax, a friend of Luhrs who had done gardening for him.
Considerable amounts will go to Herbert K. Walton Jr. (Luhrs’ lawyer) and his wife Ann, of 255 Margarita Drive, San Rafael, and to Miss Mary E. Robinson, a nurse, neighbor and tenant of Luhrs who called him every morning to see that he was well.
Other beneficiaries are Miss Rachel E. Parker, also a nurse and neighbor; John and Ruby Bacigalupi, 108 Belle Avenue, San Rafael; Olga Snell, 223 East Prado Avenue, San Rafael; Sigrid T. Clark, 84 Marina Court Drive, San Rafael, and Erminia Cocco, aunt of Cocco, 136 Scenic Road, Fairfax.
“A lot of people know what life is – to go out and kick up their heels. He didn’t,” said one of the neighbors. “Until his brother died in 1956 he kept mostly to himself. He didn’t want anybody to know about his business. He seemed to open up after that.”
Luhrs’ will stated that several of his neighbors were to received the money only if they still lived around him.
“I sometimes thought about moving because of the noise of trucks around here,” said Miss Robinson, a tenant of Luhrs in a house he had built. “But I liked him and I didn’t want to move because of him.”
Luhrs, who was born and reared in a stately home in Sacramento near the mansion of Lincoln Steffens’ family (now the governor’s mansion), moved to San Francisco in 1906. He spent summers in Fairfax with his mother and brother before moving to Marin County in 1934. He was in the insurance business.
The carved staircase rail in his Sacramento home, which is being torn down to make room for the expanding maw of state buildings around the capitol, will be preserved by a historical society.
Luhrs, who took great interest in his family history, left part of his estate to relatives in New York so distant he didn’t know their relationship. All his immediate family had predeceased him.
His memoirs are being published in a limited edition (17 copies) for his close friends.
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