It was just about closing time at Steve’s Pizza when Dalton Shaffer heard the phone ring.
A man named David Dalke was on the other end.
The pizza shop was his daughter Julie Morgan’s favorite, he said.
Julie and her husband Rich Morgan lived near the shop for about two years and would get a pizza for dinner on payday, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported.
Even after they moved away, they compared pizzas they ate to Steve’s. None were a match. That was 25 years ago.
As a trip down memory lane and to celebrate her birthday, the Morgans planned to go to the shop for a pie in September. However, they recently found out Rich had cancer, with days, maybe weeks to live.
They were at a hospital in Indianapolis, about 225 miles from Steve’s.
As Dalke shared this with Shaffer, 18, an assistant manager at the shop his uncle owns, the employee asked what kind of pizzas they would like. Although the shop doesn’t offer delivery, Shaffer said he would take the pies to the family.
Dalke was overwhelmed.
"I thought maybe just some contact from Steve's Pizza, maybe a note, I thought I might be asking too much, but I contacted them," Dalke told the Enquirer. "It was almost like he was just making a delivery across town."
It was around 2:30 a.m. when Shaffer delivered two 16-inch pizzas, a pepperoni and a mushroom and pepperoni.
Shaffer refused payment for the pizzas and the three-and-a-half hour one-way drive to deliver them, although he eventually reluctantly took some money Dalke pushed into his hand, the Enquirer reported.
Dalke also offered to put him up for the night in a hotel, however, Shaffer had to work later that day.
"I just wanted to do that for them. I just wanted to make them happy," Shaffer told the Enquirer. "I just hope people could keep that family in mind and pray for them."
Julie and Rich awoke later that morning to the surprise pizzas.
"The kids all came in and told us, and I cried and couldn't believe it," Julie Morgan told the Enquirer.
A couple of days later, she shared the story on Facebook.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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