Deceased Mississippi psychologist leaves millions to community groups

Local News
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NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man has left $2 million to 15 community groups after he died.

The Natchez Democrat reports Neil Varnell, a psychologist and owner of a bed and breakfast inn, died March 6. Varnell moved to Natchez in 1975 to run the Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Complex. In 2001, Varnell became an innkeeper, hosting guests in his house overlooking the Mississippi River.

Charities, arts groups and historic preservation groups describe the money as a surprise and blessing.

Natchez Music Festival President Diana Glaze says the donation is the largest her group has received in its 29 years and will be used to start an endowment.

A theater group says it will upgrade lighting and sound systems and fund youth program scholarships.

How much Varnell left to each group wasn’t released.

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