Stanley Shavlik shared 67 years of his life with his wife, Jean, on his family farm in Linwood, Nebraska.
They raised three kids and countless dogs, tomcats and chickens. They shared the housework and farm work. When one was sick or injured, the other stepped in to ease the burden.
When Jean fell ill a while back, Shavlik cared for her at home for roughly a year against the advice of doctors. After Jean’s condition required a nursing home, Shavlik and daughter Nancy drove the 25 miles there and back to visit her almost every day.
“She was just a remarkable woman,” Shavlik said, “the love of my life.”
Jean died in the early morning of Aug. 19. Amid his grief, Shavlik decided that he wanted to donate a small amount of money to a good cause in Jean’s memory.
He chose Goodfellows, The World-Herald’s charity, at the recommendation of a cousin in Omaha. He enjoys knowing that the newspaper keeps none of the funds for administrative costs so every dollar donated goes directly to those in need. Goodfellows provides holiday meal vouchers, back-to-school socks, T-shirts and underwear for struggling families and one-time emergency aid to people who are attempting to overcome hardships.
“It’s good to help those people that have no help,” said Shavlik, who donated to the charity for the first time this year. “There’s getting to be more and more of those people.”
Now that he’s broken the ice, he plans to send a little more to Goodfellows each year.
“There will be somebody to remember in the future,” Shavlik said.
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In 1938, Omahans created “Mile o’ Dimes” to raise funds for The World-Herald’s Goodfellows charity. Board members behind the effort are pictured here.
Ray Messler on Dec. 15, 1938.
Goodfellows donors Burdock Fredericton and Brownie Walters made up the Cornhusker Orchestra in 1939.
Betty Litman and Ed Reinhardt on Dec. 1, 1941. Rotary Cleaners had a "Good Fellows" kitty for whenever an employee lost his temper and said something he shouldn't.
Officers of the Foreign Wars contribute to the “Mile o’ Dimes” for The World-Herald’s Goodfellows charity as “Miss Goodfellows” looks on.
Children gather to sing carols for the Goodfellows fund in 1944.
Bill looks at pictures of toys in a catalog.
Members of Beta Sigma Phi, a non-academic sorority, donate to Goodfellows in 1945.
Bill, pictured here in 1945, is a beneficiary of The World-Herald's Goodfellows charity.
On Dec. 7, 1947, two boys look forward to Santa's arrival.
Members of the Omaha Knights hockey team donate to The World-Herald’s Goodfellows fund in 1948. The charity started in the late 1880s and has raised more than $16 million since record-keeping began in 1945.
Gloria and Alfred write a letter to Santa Claus on Dec. 21, 1950.
Linda waits for Santa Claus on Dec. 3, 1951.
A Goodfellows Christmas card from Nov. 14, 1952.
Kenneth and his little sister look at toy ads.
Mary meets Santa Claus on Dec. 7, 1958.
Employees at the South Omaha Post Office urge people to donate to Goodfellows in 1962. From left, they are are John Cupich, Ray Meloccaro and Postmaster John Munnelly.
Restaurateurs Ross Nisi and Eli Caniglia, with two young friends, celebrate a donation to Goodfellows in 1963. The gift was from The Strip Association, a trade group made up of people who ran restaurants on 72nd Street from Dodge to Center Streets.
Pinky, a Nebraska Kennel Club champion, delivers the club’s $200 donation to Goodfellows in 1964.
Mrs. Max Sacks and Mrs. Mike Montello from The World-Herald's Goodfellows charity fill a bag held by Mike Montello, Sokol Lanes manager, dressed as Santa, on Christmas Day, 1966.
World-Herald employee Tim Daughtery accepts donations from James Wightman, Alan Johnson and Michael Henderson from the Gene Eppley Boys Club on Dec. 20, 1967.
From left, Mrs. David Brown, Mrs. Francis Walker and Mrs. Donald Rose, a brigadier and director of Women's Services for the Salvation Army, celebrate the opening of the Salvation Army and the World-Herald Good Fellows Toy Shop. Each day until Christmas, parents of needy families may select gifts for their children. Parents coming to the shop at 1561 Capitol Ave. must demonstrate need. Photo from an edition of The World-Herald on Dec. 21, 1972.
Jermaine, pictured here on Nov. 24, 1982, is one of the beneficiaries of The World-Herald's Goodfellows organization.