Grocery worker aids World War II vet

He says there's someone so special at his local grocery store, that he goes there two or three times a week.

EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - At the Shop 'n Save in Edwardsville, Ill., you can find everything from pasta, to pudding, to potatoes.

But when you're done in the aisles, all you'll find is smiles.

"My job is to help the customers at the store, make them happy," says a smiling customer service representative named Deeann Titsworth.

Deeann is a customer service representative but don't let her grin fool you - she takes her job very seriously.

Just ask her boss.

"She just does an outstanding job," says store director Mark Ansell. "She puts smiles not only on customers faces but other associates here at the store."

And he's not the only one giving her rave reviews.

Deeann is the reason, 92-year-old Walter Heidke and his wife Mary do all of their grocery shopping here.

"She's just a sweetheart," exclaims Mary.

And Walter is somewhat of a grocery store expert.

He used to work at one when a penny could buy more than your thoughts.

"If you really were wealthy, you could buy T-bone's for 29 cents," Walter laughs.

But Walter had to check out of the check out when something more important came up.

During World War II, Walter was an air traffic controller on Iwo Jima. He brought in the bombers and fighter planes without the luxury of radar.

"We had a light gun," Walter recalled. "If we give them a green light you can come on in and if it was a red light it was 'don't come near the place'."

It was the World War II hat that Walter wears, that one shopping day caught Deeann's attention.

"When I'd seen Walter, I said I need to talk to him," Deeann remembers.

But she not only talks with Walter and Mary, she sometimes helps them walk.

"Just a couple months ago I fell and hurt my leg trying to go outside work that I shouldn't have been doing," explained Mary.

One day last winter, when there was snow and ice on the ground and when Walter and Mary showed up at the store, Deann saw them in the parking lot, helped them inside the store and did their shopping for them.

"That's no big deal, it's really not," she says. "I like to do stuff like that."

But has this ever happened to you at the grocery store?

There's a video of Deeann giving Walter a cake on his birthday after he bought his groceries.

After that, Walter had seen enough - so he wrote Deeann a letter.

The letter read, "Deeann, Mary gave me a thank you card to send you but no commercial writer could ever come close to expressing the joy I have known this birthday.."

Deeann says her eyes were so filled with tears, she could barely get through the rest.

It continued, "This is what you and your friends have done for me with the party and I can never thank you enough. Walter."

It's been said that no one cares about customer service anymore.  Walter will tell you that someone does.

"Whenever you reach out and do something for somebody else without any thought of reward out of the goodness of your heart, you're doing God's work," says Walter.

One woman showing that it's good business when you're not just making sales, you're making friends.

"We feel like, we almost feel like family," Mary added.

(© 2016 KSDK)


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