Frances Bavier, who played the kind-hearted Aunt Bee on the TV classic, The Andy Griffith Show, apparently felt great appreciation for her local police force.
When Bavier died in 1989 at age 86, her will specified $100,000 go toward a trust fund for the police department in Siler City, N.C., the small town where she lived alone with her 14 cats in her later years, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
It was considered a nice final gesture by a woman whom the locals say could sometimes be difficult to deal with, in contrast to her TV persona.
“She wasn’t the woman you saw on TV,” Floyd Bowers, who worked at an Exxon station near Bavier’s grave, told the newspaper in 2004. “She liked her privacy, and she was hard to please. My wife worked at the hospital, and she was what the nurses call a hard patient.”
According to the News & Observer, the principal of the trust fund for the police is kept at $100,000, while the interest is divided among the police staff of around 20 every year for a Christmas bonus, disbursed around Dec. 15.
Bavier’s will specified other parts of her $700,000-plus estate would go to the Actor’s Fund of America and several residents of Connecticut and New York, her home state, in addition to the Siler City Police Department, the paper reported. The rest went to UNC public television, which auctioned off her Studebaker to contribute to the endowment.