Fear of Bank of Japan''s intervention props up dollar against yen

Section:

By Susan Gallagher
The Associated Press
Monday, November 22, 2004

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- When Genesio Morlacci left
$2.3 million to a small college here, many people were
astonished at the wealth amassed by a man who
operated a dry-cleaning shop and later worked as a
part-time janitor in retirement. But to those who knew
Morlacci well, his bequest came as no surprise.

"He was a fellow who felt that if you didn't need it,
you shouldn't buy it," said Joe Marra, his former
attorney. Gene, as he was known, wanted to help
others obtain the formal education he never had,
Marra added.

Morlacci died last month at age 102. The University
of Great Falls has announced that his endowment
will generate roughly $100,000 a year for
scholarships at the Roman Catholic school, a quiet
campus with about 800 students.

"He worked very hard for this, 18- and 20-hour days,
and during each of those working hours he was doing
something good for a student he will never meet,"
university president Eugene McAllister said.

Morlacci, a widower, did not have any children. He
gave the college nearly all he saved through work,
investments, and old-fashioned thrift -- he was known
to remove worn collars from his shirts, then sew them
back on, with the frayed side down.

On the rare occasion when a story like Morlacci's
pops up, people find it inspiring, explained Michael
Solomon of The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

In 1995, offers of matching funds came into the
University of Southern Mississippi after an elderly
laundry woman -- Oseola McCarty -- announced
she was giving $150,000 for scholarships.

Attorney Warren Wenz, who handled Morlacci's
affairs after Marra retired, said he asked his client
if he wished to meet with officials at the University
of Great Falls, but Morlacci declined.

He avoided anything that could be construed as
putting on a show, Wenz said.

Morlacci believed the government and too many
people spent beyond their means, Marra noted.
"He was quite critical of the young people who
needed, in his eyes, instant gratification," Marra
said.

Long days were the rule when Morlacci, an Italian
immigrant, established Sun Cleaners in the late
1940s and operated it until the early '60s.

In retirement, he briefly held a part-time janitorial job,
but left when the university decided it needed
full-time help, longtime friend Bill Foy said.

He remembers Morlacci as a man who enjoyed
asking friends how many "miles" of spaghetti they
wanted as dinner guests at his home. He loved
tending roses and tomatoes in the yard of the simple
house he bought after he sold the cleaners.

On the rare occasions he and his wife, Lucille, dined
out, they chose budget restaurants, Foy said. Their
one luxury was a couple of trips to Italy, he said.

Foy remembers Morlacci donating money to various
causes, including the campaign to restore the Ellis
Island immigration depot in New York, through which
a 19-year-old "Genesio Morl Acci" passed in 1921.
His father operated a bar in a small town southeast
of Great Falls, and Morlacci later went to California,
where he learned dry cleaning.

As his wealth grew -- investment adviser Tom Horton
remembers a fondness for tax-free municipal bonds --
Morlacci made loans to people in Great Falls, for
homes and college.

In his six-page will he also left $5,000 to Our Lady of
Lourdes School, and $500 to Our Lady of Lourdes
Church.

As a widower, Morlacci lived in a retirement home that
charged about $500 a month for meals, a room and
housekeeping, choosing that over an upscale senior
complex. Later, suffering Alzheimer's disease, he
moved to the nursing home where he died.

Morlacci's obituary, an efficient 165 words, noted the
46-year duration of his marriage, his love of gardening
and "a passion for education."

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