Mechanic hands stranded stranger his car keys so he can get to a funeral

Todd Steinkamp (right) and Glenn Geib (left) snap a selfie at Lauritzen Sports in Wild Rose, Wisconsin.

Todd Steinkamp

It was already an emotional morning for Todd Steinkamp when he heard a loud grinding sound coming from his front left tire. 

The stressed-out Iowa resident was on a long drive to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a funeral as his car began to “give out” in a small village called Wild Rose -- population 725. Luckily, he spotted a little convenience store called Lauritzen Sports which was connected to an auto shop.

It was 7 a.m. on a Monday, and Steinkamp knew his chances of finding a mechanic on duty were slim to none.

“I thought, ‘I’m not going to make this funeral,’” Steinkamp told CBS News.

He had driven 300 miles and had 70 to go.

Steinkamp made his way into the store to search for somebody -- anybody. That’s when he stumbled upon 74-year-old Glenn Geib.

The elderly man was stocking shelves with oil when Steinkamp tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he knew of anybody who could fix his car. “It’s making this terrible grinding noise,” Steinkamp explained.

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Todd Steinkamp, from Marshalltown, Iowa.

Todd Steinkamp

Geib, wearing a flannel shirt and a trucker hat, replied, “I’m the mechanic here. What are you all dressed up for?”

Steinkamp explained that he was on his way to a funeral; the wife of the owner of the company where he works had died at age 93.

“I’ll see if I can fix it,” Geib said. “Pull it around back.”

Geib took a look at Steinkamp’s car and sure enough, there was a problem with his wheel bearing.

“Can you fix it?” Steinkamp asked.

He said he could, but they would have to order the part, which would take a couple hours. A visibly frustrated Steinkamp asked Geib where he could rent a car.

There was one store down the street that had a single rental car, but Geib soon found out the car wasn’t available. The closest rental car place was 40 miles away.

“I was distraught,” Steinkamp recalled. “Pretty pathetic really.”

That’s when Geib reached into his front pocket and pulled out his keys, handing them to Steinkamp with a smile.

“Take my truck. Fill it up with gas, don’t turn on the emergency lights and get going,” Geib said. “She’ll do 120 miles per hour if you need it to.”

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Glenn Geib gave Todd Steinkamp the keys to his ‘99 Chevrolet Silverado.

Todd Steinkamp

“At this point, I didn’t know his name, he didn’t know my name,” Steinkamp said. “It had been 10 minutes.”

But Geib didn’t take no for an answer. So, Steinkamp hopped in the ‘99 Chevrolet Silverado and was on his way.

“I desperately needed to get going,” Steinkamp said. “As sad as funerals are, this did add some levity to the day.”

The story of how Steinkamp ended up in a pickup truck with emergency lights on the top was the talk of the luncheon following the funeral. And later that week, after Steinkamp posted about it on Facebook for his friends to read, the story went viral. More than 5,400 people have shared Steinkamp’s post since he wrote it on Wednesday.

Those who know Geib say they aren’t surprised by his actions.

“Thank you Glenn from all of us at Lauritzen’s for taking such great care us and our customers and the village of Wild Rose,” Geib’s employer, Lauritzen Sports, wrote on Facebook. “All your efforts and hard work do not go unnoticed.”

“That’s my grandpa! And he probably doesn’t even think what he did was a big deal,” Lisa Spreitzer wrote. “He’s truly amazing. (I already knew that. Now the world gets to know).”

About 7 hours later, Steinkamp made his way back to the shop and returned Geib’s truck. He got his car back -- and a story that will last a lifetime.