Editorial: It just takes 1 person to create a ripple effect

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It’s rare that people go to a funeral and walk away feeling inspired, but that was exactly the case Wednesday with the funeral of the late Randy Kehr, former Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce executive director.

St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea was filled with family, friends, colleagues and others who knew Kehr, who had lived in Albert Lea — his adopted community — since 1996 with his wife, Ellen.

The funeral included stories shared about Kehr by the Rev. Kurt Farrell and Kehr’s son, daughter and son-in-law on behalf of Kehr’s granddaughter.

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Farrell described Kehr as a servant-leader, who always gave of himself to help others — all without looking for anything in return. He talked of a time only about a month ago, when Kehr met with a group at the church and wanted to get things lined up to purchase Christmas gifts for some families in need.

He shared a story of a time Kehr helped his niece learn how to eat lobster for the first time. She felt bad he went through all the work to get the lobster ready for her when he was unable to eat it himself, but he said he was grateful because he could experience the meal through her.

There were stories shared of Kehr giving people second chances and of his desire to help the community.

His children asked those in attendance who have wanted to help their family to instead find a way to help the community.

We hope everyone who walked away from the church Wednesday caught on to Kehr’s enthusiasm and that they, in turn, can share the kindness with others.

As Kehr’s own obituary announcement stated, “Give back to the community in time, talent or money to a charity you are passionate about as Randy did.”

Imagine the ripple effect that could be created if everyone took them up on the challenge.