Battle Creek, Michigan’s Steve’s Pizza normally doesn’t deliver, but the restaurant made an exception for a dying man more than 200 miles away, over two decades after he and his family last lived in Battle Creek and counted themselves among the store’s loyal customers.
As recalled by the Battle Creek Enquirer, Rich and Julie Morgan of Indianapolis were Battle Creek residents over two decades ago, spending two years in the Michigan city and becoming fans of Steve’s Pizza, which Julie described as the “best” the family had ever tasted. Originally, the idea was to celebrate Julie’s 56th birthday in September by returning to Steve’s Pizza, but with Rich Morgan’s salivary gland cancer leaving him in the intensive care unit with only “days, [or] maybe weeks” to live, the couple’s plans changed, as they had no choice but to remain in Indianapolis.
On Saturday evening, Julie Morgan’s father, David Dalke, placed a call to Steve’s Pizza and spoke to 18-year-old manager Dalton Shaffer. Dalke told the Battle Creek Enquirer that he was then asked about what type of pizza his daughter and son-in-law preferred, and informed by Shaffer that given the Morgans’ situation, Steve’s was willing to make an exception to its no-delivery policy.
“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 recalled.
“I reiterated to him, ‘Dalton, we are in Indianapolis, and that’s a three-and-a-half hour drive one way.’ and he said ‘That’s fine.'”
According to Shaffer, he didn’t have a hard time making the decision to deliver to Rich and Julie Morgan, as he simply “wanted to make them happy.” He then prepared one pepperoni and one pepperoni and mushroom pizza for the Morgans and made the 225-mile drive to Indianapolis after he closed the store at around 10:15 p.m.
After driving for about three-and-a-half hours, Dalton Shaffer arrived in Indianapolis at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, and was met by Dalke and the Morgans’ children. According to the Battle Creek Enquirer, Shaffer turned down Dalke’s offer to stay overnight at the Morgan residence as he had to be at work later on that day, and “reluctantly” accepted the money handed to him by the older man while he was on his way out.
“The family came out, gave me a hug,” Shaffer said, as quoted by Fox 2 Detroit.
“It was cool. The expressions on their face and everything like that.”
It was only later on Sunday morning when Rich and Julie Morgan found out about Shaffer’s kind deed, and as Fox 2 Detroit noted, the family soon took to Facebook to share the story of how a teenager working at Steve Pizza went out of his way to deliver the “best pizza in the world.”
“Anybody that is watching this, keep them in mind and pray for them,” Dalton Shaffer told Fox 2 Detroit.
“I hope the best for them and I hope the Lord gives them comfort.”