LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)– A longtime Lexington McDonald’s employee recently lost his wife of more than 60 years when she died at that very restaurant. A former co-worker is asking the community to help the man as he struggles to pay bills and continues to raise his two special needs sons.
If you have been at the McDonald’s on Richmond Road in the last 40 years, you have probably seen Wendall Gill.
“This past April, I started on 44 years,” he told LEX 18.
His friend, Todd Oldfield, first met him in June of 1978 when he got his very first job.
“I just thought he was a neat, old guy. Now, I’m 10 years older than he was then,” said Oldfield.
About a month ago, Oldfield was there at McDonald’s and stopped to talk with Gill as he usually does. He could tell that Gill was upset.
Gill’s beloved wife of 68 years, Della, had recently passed away. The two had been together since they were teenagers.
85-year-old Wendall Gill has been left to work his job and care for their two adopted sons who have special needs.
Oldfield knew that he had to do something.
“The first thing I did was make a little Facebook post, telling the story and different friends made different suggestions,” said Oldfield.
He ended up making a GoFundMe page and in less than a month, they have raised more than $68,000, paid off two cars and are working to pay off his house, so Gill can retire.
“I would give no more thanks on Earth than I could if he could retire. He’s done enough,” said Oldfield.
In his grief, Wendall Gill also needs a hug, which is why this Saturday is the Wendall Gill Appreciation Party. Anyone who knows Wendall Gill is asked to come and let him know you care.
The party is from 11-1 p.m. at the Southland Christian Church’s Richmond Road campus.
Lunch from City Barbeque will be served free of charge and courtesy of Mike Tewell and Toyota of Frankfort, all that is asked is that you let Wendall know you care.
Gist Heinrich, the owner/operator of the Richmond Road McDonald’s released a statement saying, “Wendall is a part of our McDonald’s family and has been for 40 years. Our team cares deeply for him and we hope to support him and any of our other team members as they go through difficult times. We’re working with the Blue Grass Community Foundation to also set up a fund in Della’s honor. This is just one of the small ways our team can show support for his family and spread hope and love to the greater community.”
Visit http://www.helpwendall.com for more information or call 859-533-5195.