Pizza shop makes surprise delivery to terminally ill man 225 miles away

Pizza shop makes surprise delivery to terminally ill man 225 miles away

Pizza store employee makes 225-mile delivery to man on hospice

For Julie Morgan and Rich Morgan of Indianapolis, it was the nice gesture that came with two pizzas delivered from their favorite pizzeria soon after they learned that Rich would enter hospice care, that made their day. 

Julie Morgan posted on Facebook about the experience, saying that she and Rich lived in Battle Creek 25 years ago. Though money was tight, Rich would bring home a pizza from Steves Pizza every payday, she said. 

The couples planned getaway to Michigan and to Steves Pizza in Battle Creek was interrupted by a trip to the ICU, where they learned Richs battle with cancer was coming to an end, she wrote on Facebook. 

They returned to Indianapolis, where they were enjoying spending time with family, when Julie Morgans father secretly called Steves Pizza. 

"Instead of getting in the car and going to Battle Creek, we wound up going to the ER, to the hospital, and Rich's cancer had returned," Julie Morgan's father David Dalke told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone Wednesday.

“They would always say theres no one that measures up to Steves Pizza,” Julie Morgans father, David Dalke, said. He described the couples situation, hoping the restaurant might send a card or text.

Shaffer said he would drive the pizzas to them after closing the shop, even though Steves Pizza doesnt normally deliver.

Shaffer answered the phone and decided to go the literal extra mile. He asked what kind of pizza they wanted, threw the pies in the oven, wrapped up his shift and then started driving south.

He closed the store at closing time on Saturday, Oct. 13, cleaned up and hopped into his Honda Accord to make the drive down with two 16-inch pizzas with pepperoni and mushrooms, he said. 

So Dalke made a call to Steve's, asking for someone to reach out to his son-in-law to wish him well. The family got a little more than that.

He arrived at the Indiana home about 2:30 a.m. and refused money for a hotel, Julie Morgan wrote, leaving right away to get back for work the next day. 

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Shaffer told the family they are in his prayers, and he asks everyone else to think of them during the tough time. 

“I am beyond overwhelmed and humbled by this act of genuine kindness. Dalton brought our family so much joy – and the best pizza in the world – at a really difficult time. While thank you hardly seems adequate – from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Dalton from Steves Pizza in Battle Creek, MI for making your epic middle of the night pizza delivery!” Julie Morgan wrote on Facebook, posting a photo of two slices of pizza. 

Shaffer said he didnt do it for attention, and that he was surprised to see the story on Facebook. He missed phone calls from a few news agencies, he said on Wednesday. 

Rich Morgan (bottom left), his wife Julie an their children. (Courtesy photo)  [ +  – ]

Morgans post had nearly 2,000 shares as of Wednesday afternoon, less than a day after it was posted. 

The trip was canceled and Rich Morgan was placed in hospice care. He was given just days to live.

“He was just delightful,” Dalke said about the intrepid delivery driver. “Hes just an outstanding man who has his heart in the right place.”

"My thoughts are with them, my prayers are with them. I hope they can get comfort," he said.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Steves Pizza in Battle Creek, Michigan, doesnt make deliveries — usually. But special circumstances led to a very special exception this past weekend, reports CBS Indianapolis affiliate WTTV.

Julie and Rich Morgan lived in Battle Creek more than 20 years ago, but never forgot how much they loved Steves Pizza. In a Facebook post, Julie wrote that its the “gold standard” they compare other pizzas to (though no others make that grade).

They were planning a weekend getaway to Battle Creek so they could once again enjoy it, but Rich fell ill and ended up in the emergency room. Days later, he was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer. He went into hospice care in Indianapolis.

Thats when Julies father, David Dalke, secretly contacted Steves Pizza and spoke to a manager, 18-year-old Dalton Shaffer. He explained the situation to Shaffer and said a card from the pizza shop would lift their spirits.

Shaffer, who got the call as he was wrapping up work for the night, had a better idea: He offered to deliver a pizza to the family.

“The family came up, gave me a hug and everything like that, and it was cool,” Shaffer says. “The expression on their faces and everything was really cool.”

Julie posted about the special delivery on Facebook, saying she was “beyond overwhelmed and humbled” by the “unbelievable kindness of a stranger” — Shaffer.

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“Dalton brought our family so much joy — and the best pizza in the world — at a really difficult time,” she wrote. “While thank you hardly seems adequate — from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Dalton from Steves Pizza in Battle Creek, MI for making your epic middle of the night pizza delivery!”


Posted in Surprise