Anonymous woman pays funeral costs for former Soddy Daisy Police Captain
Family and friends that are mourning the loss of a former Soddy Daisy Police Captain are thankful for the anonymous person who paid off his funeral costs.
Retired Police Captain Don Estes died in October after nearly 30 years of service with the SDPD. The financial burden that came with that difficult loss for his family got just a little easier to deal with after one fateful phone call came in to the funeral home.
Richard Cook has been answering the phones at Williamson and Sons Funeral Home off and on since he was 16 years-old.
"I went to school with these guys and they've just been a mainstay in this community ever since their father opened it in 1957," he told Channel 3.
That's when he wasn't working with the Soddy Daisy Police Department under former Police Captain and longtime friend Don Estes.
"Don was not only my supervisor, but he was also my friend. He was the type of guy who had your back no matter what," he said. "We became friends immediately and I worked with him for about 20 years."
Cook says his friend's passing on October 21st was difficult for everyone--but especially his daughter Donna Estes Hernandez--who was left to cover the expenses.
"It was a hard loss. I'd visited him while he was sick and it was tough to see him. She had had to quit her job a month before he passed just to take care of him. The average cost is somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 for cremation," he explained.
That was up until last week when Cook says he answered a call from a woman asking what the balance was for Estes's funeral costs.
"The lady left her number for me to call her back and I called her and she said I'll be in to take care of that balance. 30 minutes later she showed up and paid the balance," he said.
She told Cook she wanted to remain anonymous.
"First thing I did was pick up the phone, call his daughter and tell her and I told her the expenses have been paid. She didn't believe it. She said 'you're lying'," Cook recalled.
Donna took to Facebook to share her gratitude for the kind gesture saying: "...whoever you are...you are an angel."
A spokesperson with the funeral home told Channel 3 they believe this is the first time a stranger with no connection to a family has offered to anonymously pay for funeral costs.
Cook says he believes it just shows how close the community in Soddy Daisy is in times of need.