When Julia Morgan posted about Dalton Shaffer, an 18-year-old pizzeria manager who went above and beyond the line of duty, the internet was overcome with joy and love. See, Julie’s husband Richard, who had just entered hospice, was a long-time client of the pizzeria. And what this pizza manager did for a dying customer is one of the most touching stories you’ll read today.
A Cancelled Family Vacation
Earlier this month, Julie and Richard Morgan were planning a weekend-long vacation to Battle Creek, Michigan for Julie’s birthday. The Morgans wanted to visit their hometown, see their children, and get a slice from their favorite pizza place: Steve’s Pizza. As Julie put it: “We were young, and money was tight but every payday, Rich would pick up Steve’s Pizza for dinner…I can’t possibly describe how delicious this pizza is – but several moves and all these years later, it is still the gold standard, and we’ve never found a better pizza yet. Rich has frequently critiqued other pizza as ‘good but, it’s no Steve’s.’ ”
However, things took a tragic turn when Richard was rushed to the ICU just days before the planned getaway. In the hospital, they learned Richard’s battle with cancer was coming to an end. The trip was canceled, and Richard was devastatingly put in hospice.
There’s No Pizza Like Steve’s Pizza
Julie began taking care of her husband, attending to his needs, and making their home in Indianapolis, Indiana a hospice. That night, Julie’s father, David, called Steve’s Pizza. Initially, David wanted to ask whether Steve’s Pizza could send their condolences in a card. Luckily, Dalton Shaffer, an 18-year-old pizza manager picked up the phone and spoke to David. Little did the Morgans know that the phone call would lead to a touching surprise.
It was roughly 2:00 am when Richard and Julie awoke to someone knocking on their door. Oddly, the rest of their family was up, waiting for them to answer the knock. Opening the door, there stood a complete stranger – holding trays of Steve’s Pizza. It was Dalton Shaffer, manager of Steve’s Pizza. Richard’s story affected Shaffer so much that he got in his car and made the three-hour, 225 mile trip from Battle Creek to Indianapolis, just to deliver Richard his favorite pizza.
A One-Of-A-Kind Pizza Manager
When he spoke to Julie’s father earlier in the day, Shaffer made an incredible decision. He made it his mission to personally deliver the surprise to the Morgans, promising David he’d drive out that same day. So the incredible restaurant manager closed the pizzeria on-time at 10pm and made the three-hour journey to the Morgans.
In an interview given to Food USA Today, “I really didn’t think twice about it. It was a spontaneous reaction from me I guess,” Shaffer said. “When I rolled into the driveway at about 2:30, 2:40, the family was waiting up for me. The dad was there, and he came out, and he gave me a hug.” Shaffer gave the family their (slightly cold) pizzas and politely declined when asked if he’d like to be put up in a hotel. Shaffer needed to return for a morning shift on a farm he’d been working at for five years. Talk about dedication!
Shaffer, a humble, kind human being, said, “I just would like anybody reading or whatever to just think of the family. Ya know, pray for them. They’re going to be going through a hard time.”
Richard and Julie were immensely touched by this gesture. Julie took to Facebook earlier this month, telling the story of the surprise delivery. She wrote, “While ‘thank you’ hardly seems adequate – from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Dalton from Steve’s Pizza in Battle Creek, MI for making your epic middle of the night pizza delivery!”