85-year Old Widower Works as Janitor to Raise 2 Adopted Grandsons
2023/08/01

After his beloved wife's tragic and unexpected demise, an older man was left heartbroken and had to work hard to provide for his special needs adopted grandchildren. One day at work, he ran into an old colleague who was deeply moved by his story and decided to help.

Wendall and Della Gill, from Lexington, Kentucky, had known each other for a long time and had been together since they were teenagers. As time passed, their love blossomed, and eventually, the couple decided to tie the knot, vowing to stay true to their feelings for the rest of their lives.

Through the highs and lows of life, the Gills held hands and weathered all the storms together. One day in late August 2018, Wendall had a day off from work, so he and Della began running errands. Afterward, they made a brief stop at the Lexington, Kentucky McDonald's, where Wendall was an employee.

The spouses were tired and hungry and wished to grab breakfast together. While their order was being taken care of, Della told her husband she was going to use the washroom, but unfortunately, she never returned. After waiting for her to come back, Wendall became worried and decided to check what was wrong.

Todd, who had become a financial planner after leaving his McDonald's job, felt a strong urge to do something for the Gill family.

Sadly, what he then learned shattered his heart into a million pieces. His beloved wife of 63 years had passed out in the washroom after suffering an aneurysm. Della, 83, was immediately taken to the hospital, where she took her last breath only days later, leaving Wendall forever broken.

He Had to Keep Going

Instead of taking time off work to grieve and honor his late wife's memory, Wendall continued to show up to his job every day. It was heart-wrenching to see him take out trash and clean the restrooms, considering that he had witnessed his beloved die in one of them.

Wendall had been employed at the Richmond Road McDonald's for 44 years and couldn't afford to leave work. He wasn't bothered about himself but worried for the two special needs grandkids he and Della adopted years ago.  They needed him, and he couldn't just walk away or turn his back on them.

A Chance Meeting with an Old Friend

One day at work in September, Wendall ran into an old friend and former McDonald's employee, Todd Oldfield, who stopped by for a quick meal. The two met decades ago, in June 1978, when Todd got his first job. Regarding their first encounter and how much had changed since then, Todd shared:

"I just thought [Wendall] was a neat, old guy. Now, I'm 10 years older than he was then."

As they sat down and chatted, Todd was taken aback when he learned about Wendall's predicament. The senior citizen told him that his wife of more than six decades had tragically passed away, leaving him and their adopted grandkids alone and crippled.

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