Rufus Eller, Wallace Walker bring bananas, help to hospice

Aug. 04, 2013 @ 06:27 AM

Rufus Eller and Wallace Walker wake up every Saturday morning and get down to the grocery store. They stock up on candy, apples and, most of all, bananas, delivering them to local hospice centers.

It started seven years ago, after Eller’s wife, Lennis, was admitted to hospice care. After seeing the joy and nourishment a banana brought to a particular hospice patient, it was evident that a simple fruit could do a lot of good.

Eller and Walker, both 85, make the rounds to the grocery stores for the goods before Walker buys their breakfast and they head to a Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care center, alternating each Saturday between the Hudson and Lenoir locations.

Saturday, the pair bought eight packs of candy, and nine bundles of apples and bananas. Employees at the Aldi grocery store, where they buy bananas every Saturday, asked Eller if he had a group of monkeys he was feeding back home.

The two bring the treats to hospice patients because they see the good a few simple bags of fruit and candy can do. Eller’s daughter, Lisa Keller, works for Caldwell Hospice and joked that they liked making the trips for the hugs and kisses from the girls.

Eller called Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care “the best thing to ever hit Caldwell County, that’s all there is to it.” Walker said that he has never seen such caring people.

“What’s a few dollars to help a lot of people?” Walker said.