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Community helps raise funds for WWII veteran who lost his barn to a fire

Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 21, 2021

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — Duke Williams, a World War Two veteran and beekeeper for 50 years, lost his barn to a fire last week.

He lost honey supplies, antiques, and war memorabilia. But the Lewiston community is stepping up to help.

"He was overtaken with emotion. Because when he grew up, you never asked for help. You make due with what you had," said his daughter, Theresa Ehlen.

The veteran visited Patricia Susice, Owner of Everyones Eating Fresh, and asked if she would buy some eggs and what honey he had left.

"I purchased it. We talked a while, he talked about being in the war, he talked about being a veteran, we talked about cars - I love old cars, he loves old cars," said Susice.

Williams then told her his insurance wasn't going to cover a lot.

"He said you know I'm only going to get 15 cents on the dollar from my insurance money," said Susice.

That's when she posted online about setting up a donation box at her fruit and vegetable store.

She collected more than $1,500 over the weekend, and Williams' family set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a shed - so he can continue beekeeping.

"We are touched beyond belief, beyond words. Because we're amazed at the sense of fellowship that has come together during our tragedy," said Ehlen.