Friday JohnKu – AKA -TGIF – FRI-Yay/Good News

100 Farmers, Neighbors Help Harvest Iowa Farmer’s Crops After He Died Suddenly From Cancer

BY LOUISE CHAMBERS TIME NOVEMBER 26, 2022

Paul Baker, courtesy of Melissa Baker

Today’s good news story was brought to my attention by blogger and author Noelle Granger. It comes from the Epoch Times Newsletter, and here it is in its entirety. Thanks so much, Noelle, for submitting this one.

When an Iowa farmer died suddenly and unexpectedly from lung cancer, his neighbors rallied together within days to reap the corn crops he left behind. His family, deeply humbled, are grateful for the tight-knit community that showed their love and saved their harvest.

Born and raised in Creston, Iowa, Paul Baker farmed around 500 acres of land, raising beef cattle, soybeans, and corn. Nobody, including Paul and his wife of 46 years, Lynn Baker, had any idea Paul was battling cancer.

After he became seriously ill in March, his health never improved. “He didn’t ever get his breath back and [had] no energy,” his wife, Lynn, 68, told The Epoch Times. “We finally went to the doctor about a month ago.”

Epoch Times Photo
Several dozen farmers help harvest crops on Paul Baker’s corn field. (Courtesy of Melissa Baker.
With fluid already on his lungs, a biopsy brought more foreboding news: lung cancer. “He passed away about four days later,” Lynn said. “We didn’t expect it to be anything like that … I think we were all very sad and shocked.”

A devout Catholic, Paul placed his faith in God but was “just aggravated that he didn’t feel better,” his wife said. He kept farming up until the day he was admitted to the hospital and died on October 20 at the age of 66.

Their daughter Melissa Baker said, “The community knew something was wrong … farmers and friends had already worked with my uncle John to harvest the soybeans while he was in the hospital. They just volunteered, nobody asked them to do it … that’s what happened with the corn, too.”

Epoch Times Photo
Combines and semi trucks gathered to harvest Paul Baker’s 500-acre cornfield. (Courtesy of Melissa Baker)
Epoch Times Photo
An aerial view of farmers cooperating to harvest Paul Baker’s corn crop after he died of cancer. (Courtesy of Melissa Baker)

When the Bakers’ community learned Paul had passed, they called Don, the husband of John and Melissa’s sister Meredith, who plans to take over the farm, offering to help in any way they could.

“By the time we went to the visitation and the service, I think we had a huge spreadsheet of all these different teams of farmers,” Melissa said, who lives three hours away in Cedar Rapids. “They just wanted to help my dad because he would do it for anybody else.”

On October 27, two days after Paul’s funeral, some 30 combine harvesters, 38 semis, and countless tractors and buggies arrived on the Bakers’ land before sunrise. Melissa guessed some 100 people lent their time, equipment, love, and labor for a full day’s work harvesting crops.

Local businesses donated breakfast and lunches to the farmers, and children from nearby St. Malachy Catholic School, where Paul’s granddaughters attend, decorated lunch bags and crafted thank you letters. Melissa tried to visit every field to thank them personally and was quickly overwhelmed.

Epoch Times Photo
Farmers pose with combines at Paul Baker’s field. (Courtesy of Melissa Baker)
Epoch Times Photo
Local farmers pose with the Baker family. (Courtesy of Melissa Baker)

Lynn said, “It was really emotional. Of course, we cried a lot, but we were just overwhelmed and felt very loved … at the end of the day, everybody gathered together, and that was really fun just to see everybody celebrate [Paul] and talk about him. I think he would be nothing but pleased to see all of us together.

“People are really good.”

Melissa said, “It’s nice to see that people really do care and are willing to help and show up. I know that happens in other communities, but there’s something really special about a small-town rural community.”

Lynn describes her late husband, a Knight of Columbus who was very active in the church, as “very kind and loving.” He worked over 40 hours a week for his whole life but still made enough time for his family, including his two grandchildren, and loved telling jokes to strangers.

Epoch Times Photo
Paul Baker on the farm. (Courtesy of Melissa Baker)
Epoch Times Photo
Paul Baker enjoys some leisure time. (Courtesy of Melissa Baker)

“He was just a very personable, outgoing, loving human,” Lynn said. “If anybody needed help, he was the first to help them.”

Paul’s faith kept him strong until the end; Meredith told the Diocese of Des Moines that when her father’s time came, he was ready.

“On the last day that he was with us, he said he was waiting for the Lord,” Meredith said. “We’re a very faith-based family. It was very comforting for us to know that he was good, and he was ready, and that he would continue to be with us always but in a different capacity.”

The Good news here is people pitch in unselfishly to help a family in trouble. Today’s JohnKu talks about helping. I hope you have a great weekend.

Do You? by John W. Howell

When you see trouble,

Do you go out of your way . . .

To help or avoid.

I am over at Story Empire today. Come see me I’m talking about humor.

78 comments

  1. I love how these farm communities just pitch in. I’ve seen it happen. A real feel-good story. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Darlene. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great show of community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes indeed. Thanks, Charles.

      Like

  3. This is such an uplifting story, John. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dan. I loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The world needs more of this. I’d like to see this in the headlines instead of more Kanye West. Sounds like Paul was one tough dude.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had the same thought about Paul. I agree with you on the news. There just isn’t enough of the good stuff. I do wish Kanye West would go away.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I couldn’t agree more, Craig.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What an outstanding story today, John. Thank you for raising my hope in the human race!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Always good to see the best in people. Thank you, GP.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Powerful testament to the goodness of people. Thank you, John. The Heartland is called that for a reason. Through the craziness of these last years, I suspect we’re all being drawn back to community, to loving or neighbor as our self. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said, Gwen!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I would hope that is the case, Gwen. Thanks for your lovely comment.

      Like

  7. What a beautiful story. I agree with Craig. Thanks for sharing, John.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you , Jill. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love stories like this. Thank you for these posts, John. They are a bright spot each week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it, Joan. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a generous community. Stories like this restore my faith in humanity. Thanks, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or at least in some portions of humanity. Thanks, Teri.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. With my Iowa-based post about growing up in an environment were “reasonable” and “proper” still were guidelines, this is especially touching and encouraging. This is the Iowa I knew, and it’s good to be reminded it’s still there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is still there for sure, Linda. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A beautiful story in keeping with the season, Boss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Pilgrim. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a nice story! It’s good to hear things like this. Thanks for sharing, John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is good, Tim. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is truly a heartwarming story, John. It takes us back to the time when neighbors pitched in to help with barn-raising, or harvesting, with no payment expected. I love this SO much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it too. What is grand is this happened now and is not a story from the 1800s. Thanks for your comment, Jan

      Liked by 2 people

  14. What a wonderful story and community!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree, Deborah. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This one fills my heart, John. Such a great story, and a glowing tribute to all involved. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Bruce. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. They left out the best part of the story. The bank did not get to foreclose on the farm… even still an excellent telling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure the bank was broken hearted. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  17. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    I loved this, John 🙂 It confirmed my fsith that given an opportunity most people will pitch in and help.

    Like

  18. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    No, today is not Wednesday, not yet time for a ‘good people’ post, but I think we could all use a little break from the crises and disasters – both at home and around the globe – as we head into the weekend. My friend John Howell tells the story of an entire community of good people that warmed my heart as I think it will yours. Thank you, John!

    Like

  19. This really doesn’t surprise me because Midwesterners can be the kindest, most generous people anywhere. It’s a wonderful example of people pulling together to help others, whether they know them or not. Thanks for republishing it here, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are right, Debbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Totally heartwarming story today John. People are better than we sometimes give them credit for.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes David. Some people are. Thank you.

      Like

  21. At once heartbreaking and amazing. Thanks for sharing, John and Noelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the same way. Good people stories make me tear up every time. Shows hope.

      Like

  22. This is the greatest story I’ve heard all year, maybe in my life. Farm people are like that: they love to farm and love the people who love to farm. They all had crops to bring in of their own, but they took a day and brought his in. Beautiful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a great story, John. I’m glad you like it too.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. What a wonderful story that reaffirms the love people have for others. This is a great share, John. Really enjoyed your JohnKu, and I loved hearing about Paul’s faith. I smile to know he now resides in a much better place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mae. I join you in the smile. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  24. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    Nice to see Paul’s friends and community rally around his family with this act of kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A terrific story of kindness, Pete. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story, John. Love the JohnKu too! Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Harmony. I hope your weekend is filled with peace. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Wonderful. Just wonderful. I’m happy to see communities and people working together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always a good thing. Thanks, Chel.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. John, your Friday good news posts are always uplifting!
    This is a great story, yet what else could I expect from folks who are the salt of the earth.
    Your JohnKu is piquing.
    Help, or avoid…. depends on the trouble.
    Where I live (not the best hood), some trouble could get me harmed.

    I’m up the street from the Canadian Association for Mental Health. Some folks can be dangerous. Lots of homeless around here, and half way houses.

    It’s hard to know who to help, and in what way.

    OX OX OX OX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The important point is to stay safe. OX OX OX OX.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do! I’ve been told by the local police not to challenge anyone, even if they are peeing on my front step. I live at a streetcar exchange stop. Sometimes there’s 50 people out there, during rush hours.
        So, hey… just have a quick whiz! Who’ll notice?
        Honestly, John it’s crazy.
        I’ve thought of moving, but…darn there are lots of good things here, too/still/yet!

        OX OX OX OX

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is always hard to leave what we feel is home and sometimes the danger is not so bad. OX OX OX OX

        Liked by 1 person

      3. OX OX OX OX
        It helped me write Queen’s end.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I can get that for sure. OX OX OX OX

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’ve got to attend to pies. Be back soon! 🐂 ( a quick ox in the meantime!)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I also have to go to daughters for dinner soon. Here’s two quick Oxes. 🐂🐂

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oxen! Lol… my smart ass can’t resist. Hope dinner was wonderful!
        I wondered if you had any kids? Lucky you!
        🐂🐂💋🐂🐂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Yes I have three. One in Michigan, One in Indiana and the youngest here in Austin. I am very lucky. 🐂🐂💋🐂🐂

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Truly you are! 💋🐂🐂💋🐂🐂💋

        Liked by 1 person

      10. 💋🐂🐂💋🐂🐂💋💋💋

        Liked by 1 person

      11. 💋💋💋🐂🐂💋🐂🐂💋💋💋

        Like

      12. 💋💋💋🐂🐂🐂💋🐂🐂🐂💋💋💋

        Like

  28. That is just so beautiful, John. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a great story. Thanks, Betsy.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. John, this is just wonderful. Community is powerful and giving. You aced your JohnKu.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. A bittersweet story John. So sad that John died, but oh my, what an amazing community of people. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are something. We have to think of the life John led that he would bring all these folks together.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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