NY Man Leaves $50K in Will to 2 Waitresses

Maureen Donohue-Peters and her niece both work at the same restaurant.

ByMEGHAN KENEALLY
May 12, 2015, 12:48 PM

— -- Two waitresses at a Manhattan steakhouse got an unexpected tip from their favorite customer who died last summer.

The waitresses, Maureen Donohue-Peters and her niece Maureen Barrie, only learned after his death that a wealthy art mogul who was a regular at their restaurant named them in his will, according to ABC station WABC in New York.

Robert Ellsworth was a self-made multimillionaire and while much of the art world knew him as the “King of Ming” because of his extensive Asian antiques collection, he insisted that everyone at Donohue's Steak House call him Bob.

Donohue-Peters told WABC he was "very down-to-earth, very nice. He'd help anybody."

PHOTO: Robert Ellsworth's favorite meal from the unassuming restaurant, Donohue's Steak House, was an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich with bacon.
Robert Ellsworth's favorite meal from the unassuming restaurant, Donohue's Steak House, was an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich with bacon.
WABC

According to an obituary in The New York Times, 85-year-old Ellsworth died as a result of a fall in early August.

His estate totaled about $200 million at the time of his death and both Maureens learned that he had left them $50,000 a piece only after his attorneys contacted them in December, which happened to be a time of year when his generosity tended to shine.

"At Christmastime he'd tip the entire staff, from the dishwasher right out to the buspeople,” Donohue-Peters told WABC.

She said Bob knew every staffer's name and always had their $8.95 open-faced bacon and cheese sandwich. And while she is grateful for the unexpected gift, she still misses her friend.

"You know, I'd much rather have him here than have the money," she said.

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