Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

98-year-old bakes hundreds of treats a year for strangers in need

A photo of Leo Kellner and his late wife Madeline behind two cakes.

After his wife of 72 years died, Leo Kellner spent some time "moaning and moping," and then got to baking.

Kellner, 98, of Hastings, Nebraska, keeps his late wife's memory alive by making sweet treats for people going through hard times; in the year after her death in 2012, he baked 144 pies for those in need. He contacts area funeral homes and community organizations to get the names of people who might appreciate his complimentary baked goods, and he works around allergies and finds out their favorite flavors.

Kellner said he has received thank you cards from as far away as Alaska, from someone who attended a funeral where he furnished a cake. He also bakes for his friends, and teaches some of the neighborhood children how to cook. "I try to be happy," he told Today. "I place nobody above me, I place nobody below me. I like everybody and I've never held a grudge." He also has a secret ingredient in all of his cakes and pies: "Love." Catherine Garcia