Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"God left me here for a reason..."

Leo Kellner,  grew up on a farm in Dimock, South Dakota. His mom loved to cook, but when the 1930's drought turned their farm into a dust bowl, mom's baking vanished from the table. His dad, Tony, barely kept the family from starving by starting a new career laying bricks. "We hardly had nothing," Kellner recalls. "I knew what it was to be poor." Eventually he grew up and found Miss Right. They moved to Hastings, Nebraska, and their marriage lasted 72 years before she died. He retired from work at age 92, and remembers that "after my wife passed away, I sat there and didn't know what the hell to do with myself."

                                                                                                                            Laura Beahm
That's when he remembered how much his mom baked before the farm went under. And how it felt to be hungry, and how grateful he'd have been if someone had given him a pie in those hard times. So he asked himself, "Why can't I bake?" That year he baked 144 apple pies. Now 97 years young, he still bakes cakes and pies, but it's not a retirement income. He gives they all away free -- to priests at his home parish; to hospice workers who cared for his wife; to cancer patients; to families gathered for funerals, and many others. "I try to help everybody I can," he says. "God left me here for a reason and this is why I think He did. "

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