Duke Mitchell, a 96-year-old retired United Association welder from Springfield, Oregon, donated $500,000 to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Portland, Oregon.
Mitchell isn’t a member of the Shriners, but said he learned of the organization sometime after his wife of 72 years, Lucy, died in 2014.
Mitchell told The Register-Guard that he and his wife had been planning to make the donation and decided he wanted to “help little kids” who receive care at the 29-bed hospital that was established in 1924.
"I thought, 'My God, what a wonderful thing that is,'" he said during a Nov. 5 ceremony. "What could you do that's any greater than that?"
UA Local 290 hosted the ceremony at its Springfield, Oregon training center.
Mike Carmickle, the local’s former business agent, recalled the day earlier this year when Mitchell told him about his plans.
"I don't know who was bawling more, me or him," Carmickle said.