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She fed others for years, but sits this Thanksgiving out

November 23, 2001

She fed others for years, but sits this Thanksgiving out



By JULIE E. GREENE / julieg@herald-mail.com

Ellen Resh has helped feed hundreds of people Thanksgiving dinner every year for 46 years.

This year Resh, who turns 85 on Saturday, sat and watched dozens of volunteers and family members serve the holiday meal to more than 100 people at the Hagerstown Union Rescue Mission.

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Resh is recovering remarkably from a heart attack she had three weeks ago and two strokes shortly after, said her son-in-law, Bruce "Sonny" Shank.

"She's doing awesome," said Shank, executive director of Four States Christian Mission.

Family members have taken charge of the meal and service that Resh and her late husband, Jimmy Resh, provided to residents at the rescue mission and anyone else who otherwise would be alone for the holiday.

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"I don't know what I'd do without my family," Ellen Resh told everyone at the banquet. "They've been wonderful."

During the banquet, Resh was surrounded by her five children, their spouses and most of her 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Resh used a walker to walk almost 10 yards to a microphone to thank everyone for praying for her recovery.

"If it hadn't been for prayer, I wouldn't be here today," she said. "God gave me the determination to get back on my feet and do the work I love to do."

Resh used to serve the dinner by herself.

This was the first time she couldn't help serve the turkey and trimmings.

"I wish I could have, but I knew I couldn't," Resh said later. "I was just so thankful I had all those volunteers and my family. That made me feel a little better."

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