Mysterious Beverly Hills Recluse Leaves $240 Million to Six Institutions
Oct. 15, 1986
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A reclusive Beverly Hills widow has left $240 million to four schools and two hospitals, although officials at some of the six institutions say they never even heard of her.
The first installments of $18 million from Liliore Green Rains have already been received by California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the Hospital of the Good Samaritan in Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kan.; Pomona College and Stanford University.
Each is expected to receive another $22 million next year. For many of the institutions, the unexpected $40 million was the largest bequest ever received.
''We don't even know anybody to write a 'thank you' to,'' said Ted Gibbens, vice president for development at Pomona, a small liberal arts college 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. At Stanford, a spokesman said there was no known tie to Mrs. Rains, who died last November at the age of 76. ''It was a total surprise.''
Few or no restrictions were placed on the bequests, the Los Angeles Times reported today.
The Rev. Donald P. Merrifield, chancellor and former president of the Roman Catholic Loyola Marymount, knew Mrs. Rains and described her as ''very bright, very gracious, very quick in making judgments and very witty.''
A generous woman who apparently lacked a higher education, Mrs. Rains probably chose Pomona College because she had a nephew who graduated from the school and Good Samaritan because she was once treated there for a minor injury, the Times reported.
''I guess that was enough for $40 million,'' Merrifield said.
An heiress to an oil and land-development fortune from her father, pioneer Beverly Hills developer Burton Green, Mrs. Rains died after a long illness, during which she withdrew into seclusion and finally became an invalid. Her husband, William M. Rains, a well-known lawyer, graduated from Loyola Law School in 1926 and died in 1947, one month after they were married. In 1980 his widow gave $1 million to the school for a library named after her husband.
The couple had no children.
Mrs. Rains was a friend of Dr. Roy W. Menninger, president of the Kansas institution, and had previously given money to the famed psychiatric clinic. Caltech also had received some funds previously in what Director of Development Susan Pearce called ''a modest relationship.''
''We at least knew who she was,'' Ms. Pearce said.
Mrs. Rains, who is survived by her sister Dolly Green of Beverly Hills, also left $1 million each to the son and daughter of her late sister Burton Bettingen, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to their children.