This is truly a "just when you thought you heard it all news" story.
Perhaps the most sincere form of benevolence is that which is not made known. No gifts for glory, and no charity for recognition. Just giving to those who deserve to be given to.
Those who knew Mike Ilitch, the Little Caesars founder and Detroit Tigers owner who died last Friday, have spent the past few days fondly remembering his impact on friends, on Detroit residents, and on the sports community.
Ilitch also had an impact on the daily life of one of the most iconic figures from the civil rights movement.
For more than a decade, Ilitch had quietly paid for Rosa Parks' apartment in downtown Detroit.
That story came to light thanks to Damon Keith, a Detroit native and federal judge.
"They don't go around saying it, but I want to, at this point, let them know, how much the Ilitches not only meant to the city, but they meant so much for Rosa Parks, who was the mother of the civil rights movement," Keith told WXYZ.
Keith, himself an important legal figure in the civil rights movement, worked to find Parks a new, safer apartment at the Riverfront Apartments in Detroit
Ilitch read the story in the newspaper and called Keith, offering to pay for Parks' housing indefinitely. With no fanfare, Ilitch continued paying for the apartment until Parks died in 2005, Keith said.
The entire episode was made public in 2014. Keith even showed the reporter a copy of a 1994 check for $2,000 from Little Caesars Enterprises to Riverfront Apartments.
Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley posted on Facebook a link to an article on the subject on Friday. "It will give you a sense of the kind of man Mike Ilitch was," he wrote.
The Parks' donation further shows Ilitch's commitment to Detroit, where he was born and raised. Ilitch established Little Caesars headquarters there, owned the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, and helped usher in a new era for the city.