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105-year-old woman leaves $10 million to Washington community colleges


It’s the giving season and Washington community colleges received an early Christmas gift recently as a total of $10 million was gifted their way from the estate of the late Eva Gordon. Gordon lived until she was 105 years-old, passing away in 2018. Her estate announced the donations last week.

Gordon’s godson told The Seattle Times that she lived her life quietly, and acquired her wealth through spending little and smart investing. In total, 17 community colleges across Washington will receive approximately $550,000 each, one of the largest donations they’ve ever come by.

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“I don’t like stories that remind me what an awful person I am, because if I had $10 million I would spend all the money just trying not to die,” joked MyNorthwest writer Chason Gordon (no relation to Eva), filling in as KIRO Nights co-host. “Every last penny.”

Gordon herself never got the chance to go to college. She grew up in Eugene, Oregon, and worked as a trading assistant at an investment firm in Seattle, eventually buying early shares in Nordstrom, oil companies, and Seattle utilities. When she was in her fifties, she married Ed Gordon, a Navy pilot-turned-stockbroker, and for years the two donated to higher education.

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“I love to hear stuff like this, and I especially love stories about when folks who do have a lot of money — you wouldn’t know, they’re not flashy, and that lets them do things like this that are really important,” added co-host Aaron Mason.

The donations are expected to become scholarships at the colleges, among other support for students.

Listen to KIRO Nights with Gee Scott and Aaron Mason weekdays from 7-10 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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