It seems that all the hours Bob Crandall spent studying the stock market paid off.

Crandall, who died Jan. 20, at 93, spent time vacationing in Mexico, according to his obituary. But along with his travels and hobbies that included stamp collecting and playing cards, Crandall amassed a small fortune — somewhere between $2.5 million and $2.7 million — according to city of Faribault documents, which he left to the city to benefit the Buckham Memorial Library.

Library Director Delane James said Monday that she, her staff and the Library Advisory Board were positively gobsmacked when they got the news.

“We were pretty amazed by it,” she said.

Neither James, who’s worked at the library for 18 years, or longtime members of its staff — some who’ve put in 25 years — recall seeing Crandall, who had no living family members, according to his obituary.

“He may have been more active in the library years ago,” reasoned James.

Along with cards and stamps, Crandall spent time watching CNBC to stay up to date on the stock market and many hours at the library studying and reading books on investing, read his obituary. Crandall was employed at the Faribault Regional Center, a residential facility for the developmentally disabled which closed in 1998. The site is now home to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Faribault.

Crandall put no stipulations on the money, other than that it “needs to be used exclusively for public library purposes as the City Council of said city may determine.”

A resolution accepting the donation, approved last week by the council, noted that “the Faribault City Council, the Library Advisory Board and staff will work together to ensure that these gift funds are used to make a positive and lasting impact for the citizens of Faribault.”

But what that will look like isn’t yet known.

James said she has a few ideas on how to spend a portion of the money, and she’s making a list. But she won’t share that publicly until she meets with the City Council to discuss the gift and consider how best to appropriate the funds and whether some should be set aside for the future. That discussion hasn’t yet been scheduled.

“It’s a once in a lifetime gift. We’re thankful and grateful,” James said, adding that. “This story is to be continued.”

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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