Random act of kindness for Tacoma widower

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 11 at 10:33 AM

TACOMA -- Ted Smith is one of the kindest, gentlest souls you'll ever meet. He's a former youth minister and science teacher who worked 21 years in the Tacoma schools.

At 90-years-old, Ted has lived a full life, but since the death of his wife of 63 years - the day after Thanksgiving - things are uncomfortably quiet around his Tacoma home.

He sums up life without his beloved Joanne in one lonely word: empty.

But a knock on the door brings an unexpected visit from friends Ted never knew he had. Workers from Ted's bank, Umpqua, heard about his situation and Friday delivered food, cleaned up around the yard and planted flowers at the home he's lived in for the past 52 years.

It's part of a quiet corporate encouragement for Umpqua workers to do good in the community.

"You know, just a small gesture, I think that means a lot to people," says Umpqua worker Tommy Burrill.

Some leftover flowers were planted in Ted's neighbor's yard. Terry Norris used to tend these same beds with Ted's wife before she passed away. Terry says this random act of kindness is inspiring.

"If somebody does something nice for us I think we should be doing something nice for somebody else," she says.

As for Ted, he says it simply feels good to know that there are people out there who care.

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