Former flower shop owner Connie Reno left a $300,000 gift to her community that will bloom for years to come.
Reno, who owned a floral business on Main Street in Marble Falls before retiring, passed away July 12, 2019, at the age of 93. One of her final wishes was to bequeath 10 nonprofits and entities $30,000 each.
Executor of her estate and neighbor Stuart Nunnally passed out the donations.
“When she died, she set the wheels in motion,” Nunnally said. “It was great joy to issue those checks.”
Recipients included Marble Falls Area EMS, the Marble Falls Cemetery Fund, the Marble Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Friends of the Marble Falls Public Library, Faith Academy of Marble Falls, First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls, of which she was a member, and her hometown of Bremond, Texas, to benefit its cemetery. The donations did not have stipulations on how the money is to be spent.
“She had an interest in the library because she volunteered in the (library’s) Thrift Store for many years,” Nunnally said. And “she was always so appreciative of first responders.”
Reno’s husband, Vincent, preceded her in death. As neighbors, Nunnally and his family checked on Reno frequently because she did not have immediate family, he said.
Reno lived modestly, he added, though she didn’t deprive herself of what she wanted.
“She lived on Arbor Lane for many, many years,” Nunnally said. “She didn’t have a large estate, but she wanted to give her money away. She lived off Social Security to make those final gifts.”
Reno chose the recipients because of their roles in the community, he said.
“She was a very frugal woman who would say she was never denied anything but learned how to live a simple life,” Nunnally said. “It may inspire others to leave gifts to nonprofits when they die. They weren’t grandiose gifts, but they made a big splash.”