DES MOINES, Iowa — A humble man described by friends as a “blue collar, lunch pail kind of guy,” stunned the world by leaving behind a beautiful legacy.

Dale Schroeder was a hardworking carpenter in Des Moines, Iowa.
Schroeder’s lawyer, Steve Nielsen, told CNN that his late friend went to work at the same business nearly every day for 67 years. Nielsen also noted that Schroeder’s attire matched his seemingly simple life; His closet consisted of a set of pants – a pair for church and a pair for work.

Schroeder passed away in 2005. Before his death, the lifelong Iowan paid Nielsen a professional visit.

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With no descendants, wife or partner, Schroeder wanted his lifelong savings to provide others with an opportunity he never got: attend college.

Apparently Nielsen thought the gesture was kind. But when he found out how much money his friend had saved over the years, he was shocked.

From all his hard work, Schroeder had amassed a wealth of over $3 million, CNN reported.

He dedicated all of it to a scholarship fund that has now sent 33 Iowans to college.

The 33 students have dubbed themselves “Dale’s Kids.” In honor of the man who helped them achieve their dreams, they gathered in July for dinner.

At the center of their table sat Schroeder’s lunch pail.

“For a man that would never meet me to give me basically a full ride to college, that’s incredible,” aspiring therapist Kira Conard told KCCI.

As the fourth daughter of a single parent, Conard knew she would have to shoulder a heavy burden of college debt. She told KCCI she “broke down in tears” when a stranger called her offering a scholarship funded by Schroeder.

Conducting an angel’s work, Nielsen hopes that Dave’s kids will simply continue to pay it forward in honor of his dear friend.