Last month, a man died. A man in a rural community. A farmer and Farm Bureau member, with a family. He was young and it was an accident.
I didn’t know Lynden Endress personally, but friends and neighbors say he was one of those men. You know the kind — the ones who always volunteer their time, work with a smile on their face and make everyone around them feel good.
According to Stephenson County Farm Bureau Manager Bruce Johnson, who spoke with Holly Spangler at Prairie Farmer:
“Lynden epitomized the spirit of the family farm and the values that make it special – a loving husband and father with strong family values, an exemplary work ethic, a passionate support of his community and county, and a fun-loving zest for life. His commitment was exemplified by only having missed two SCFB board meetings in the past 12 years, and his insight and discernment made him a well-respected leader.”
Endress left behind a wife and three young children. It’s a sad story, but here’s where it gets marginally better — this is the part that will restore your faith in humanity.
One of Lynden’s children, Zander, far right, received $31,000 for his steer at the recent Stephenson County Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction when the community honored his late father. Bruce Johnson and the Stephenson County Farm Bureau, joined representatives of 30 organizations, business and families that raised money, which will be put into a trust for the three Endress children.
Steers usually sell for about $4,000 at the Stephenson County Junior Livestock Auction, but the community just couldn’t stop there. And the Endress family? Well, they were definitely surprised.
How’s that for a community working together to help one of its own?