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Town stunned after farmer's funeral

Funeral Surprise Has Western Iowa Buzzing

KCCI reports that much of Western Iowa has been buzzing ever since Edwin 'Bud' Skalla was laid to rest.

The frugal farmer never married, and most people who knew him admitted that he wasn't exactly a 'people person.' The 92-year-old was quite a lone wolf, and Skalla's executor says Skalla wouldn't even sit with him to have a cup of coffee.

He's been described as a 'quirky' guy who never dressed lavishly and was basically a total mystery.

After his death, his priest (who also didn't know him so well) got a call. 'You're going to be on the receiving end of a very large bequest,' Father John Dorton said. 'How big is big?' he wondered.

A few days later, he got his answer: $3 million worth of farmland left to his parish.

'I've been a priest 43 years and I've never seen one like this,' Dorton said.

Then, surprises started to pop up everywhere. Break out a calculator and you're talking about a bequest that's in the neighborhood of about $10 million. He left that money to churches in 13 different towns, and each parish could be looking at a bequeath of $500,000.

In life, Bud Skalla had a reputation. In death, he earned a new one ... while teaching a lesson. Sometimes, you can't judge a book by its cover.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
queencelt February 12 2014 at 3:39 PM

You should NEVER judge a book by its cover. I'll never forget the time I was taking my son to compete in a horse show, and realized I had forgotten my sunglasses. My son, daughter and I (all dressed in clothing appropriate for being around horses in muddy fields) went to a Sunglass Hut store at the mall. I thought I could just drop in and buy the first sunglasses I saw, but the staff completely ignored me, while pandering to men who were "just looking." I was a highly motivated buyer, but they lost a good sale that day due to their bigotry.

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Larry Greer February 12 2014 at 4:09 PM

Get off his back! He wanted to do something to benefit mankind the best way he knew how. He knew he wouldn't be here to see the outcome and how much it would help. He was never married and at his age none of his relatives were probably in his life. If they didn't help making his legacy/fortune they don't automatically deserve anything.

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karij42 February 12 2014 at 5:08 PM

Maybe the church was where he found some semblance of family and belonging. I applaud the man for giving back to God what he couldn't use anymore. Being a farmer, you're not in control
of a lot of thing and only he knew how many times his prayers were answered when he farmed.
The news talks a lot about food shortages. We should pray that the church will do what God wants with its land gift and in doing so will bless in many more ways than first thought by the farmer who left this gift. Bless the mans family and help the Catholic church

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turtleread February 12 2014 at 10:18 AM

I don't know why people are so stunned. Where do you think most of the early wealth of this country came from? From agricultural wealth, and it is still possible to create that wealth from the incredibly rich soils of the American Midwest.

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1 reply
Paul turtleread February 12 2014 at 10:23 AM

And gov payments.

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jagian34 February 12 2014 at 7:43 PM

I guess you cannot tell a book by its cover.

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al12exb February 12 2014 at 8:24 AM


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jim February 12 2014 at 8:27 AM

I'm sure that there are quite a few people in all of these communities that this money will help. Farmers don't get enough credit for the hard work that they do, & please don't let me forget all of the others who work hard in their communities also. Most rural places don't have many jobs or even good pay for what they do, maybe this will give them some relief to.

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smesnyrwj February 12 2014 at 8:28 AM

Pizzaman is correct. I own over 1200 acres and it is taxed on an ag-based value not residential or commercial values. That is beside the point. Taxing entities do not need more money to waste.

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1 reply
sfedhgwy smesnyrwj February 12 2014 at 9:02 AM

the government needs the money to pay for your crop insurance.

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1 reply
dendav1955 sfedhgwy February 12 2014 at 9:40 AM

the government needs to gey out of everyones business

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montes February 12 2014 at 7:14 PM

He still had $10mil BECAUSE he stayed away from women...

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natural121212 February 12 2014 at 10:43 AM

love to read these things
so many really top notch people in the world

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2 replies
erin natural121212 February 12 2014 at 11:07 AM

Yes - I also love it when people make decisions about other people's life earnings. It was Bud's decision. Period.

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savannahswithgod natural121212 February 12 2014 at 11:12 AM

Well you know when the Lord drops in to chat and instead of asking him what the winning lotto numbers are you ask him how to pray, what can you say? That was 2005.

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