Butch Marion has spent many of his 82 years of life in service to others, and until just a few weeks ago, was still working hard every day.
Not only did Marion spend 10 years in the Navy, but later in life he also retired to care for his ex-wife’s ailing husband until he passed. Then he headed back to work at Walmart, which is where Rory McCarty found him several weeks ago.
McCarty, who shops at the Walmart in Cumberland, Maryland, where Marion worked, spotted the elderly employee and struck up a conversation as he rang up his items.
He found out that Marion was 82 and a veteran, was still working about 30 hours a week because he had to, and had family in Florida he hadn’t been able to see in years that he missed dearly.
So McCarty filmed a brief interaction with him where he told him about another person who went to Walmarts, found people in need, and raised funds for them so they could quit — and then McCarty did his darnedest to bring about the same sort of thing for his new friend Marion (with Marion’s permission, of course).
“I believe the Lord’s gonna bless you,” he told Marion in one of his TikTok videos.
McCarty posted on TikTok. He started a GoFundMe. He checked up on Marion frequently, and the two became friends.
“I was shopping at Walmart the other day, and was waited on by an 82yr old man named Butch,” he wrote on the GoFundMe.
“As a business owner and knowing how hard it’s been to try to find good help for my business. I was astounded seeing this little older man still grinding. Working 8 to 9 hour shifts.
“I wanted to help this Navy Veteran to live the remainder of his years traveling to see his kids in Florida. Get him off his feet for 8 hrs at a time. And do the things he would love to do that he may not be able to for financial reasons.
“Every penny will go to Butch.
“Janette, the daughter of Butch, has confirmed that I can withdraw the funds on behalf of her father and send them outside of GoFundMe. Once that happens, I will be hand delivering Warren Marion (Butch) a cashier check for the full amount given after the Gofundme fee is subtracted.”
On Jan. 4, thanks to McCarty and thousands of generous strangers, Marion was able to walk out of Walmart for the last time as an employee. At the time, McCarty presented him with a check for over $100,000 — but since then, the GoFundMe has raised nearly $150,000.
“Feel like a new man,” Marion told WTTG-TV. “This is just unreal.”
He added that he felt like a “bird out of a cage.” He’s making plans for a three-week trip to Florida to reunite with his daughters and grandchildren, and also has very practical plans to pay off bills and relax more.
McCarty is ecstatic to see his new friend thriving and says that while he may have started the ball rolling, the blessing was ultimately from God.
“Just never dreamed this would happen,” McCarty said. “… I’m just so excited for him.
“I just wanted to put something in motion, and the Lord did the rest.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.