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Family searches for "angel" who paid elderly woman's grocery store bill in Newton

Family searches for "angel" who paid for elderly woman's groceries in Newton
Family searches for "angel" who paid for elderly woman's groceries in Newton 01:53

NEWTON - Marilyn Oettinger can't stop thinking about it -- and neither can her family.

"There she was," says her daughter Margie, "confused, flabbergasted, embarrassed. And this guy rescued her."

She's talking about last Thursday, when her 89-year-old mom went on a grocery run with some other seniors to the Star Market in Auburndale -- a rare unassisted trip since losing her husband in July.

Things went fine until the checkout line, when Marilyn discovered her only credit card had been canceled two days earlier -- because the account was in her late husband's name.

"And this amazing person behind her said 'Don't worry. I'll take care of your groceries,'" Margie said. 

The bill certainly wasn't meager -- it was $109.

But Marilyn accepted his offer -- believing she'd get the guy's contact info and pay him back later.

"She tried to get his name," says Margie, "but he said 'No. Just say a prayer for me.'"

And then -- with his good deed done -- the fella vanished.

"That gives me the chills," said a woman wheeling a cart from the store Monday night. "That's an amazing story. Really cool."

A man leaving the store agreed.

"You know it makes me happy when someone who doesn't really want the credit gets it. They deserve it, right?"

Indeed, the Oettinger family is pledging to pay it forward with similar kindness on future trips to the supermarket.

But they also reached out on social media, trying to at least get the chance to say a proper "thank you."

"We're trying to find him," says Margie Oettinger. "And even if he doesn't want to come forward, we're hoping that he'll know that we're incredibly grateful."

They've already said that prayer -- several times.

"It's amazing to have an angel like that," Margie says.

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