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Family searches for ‘angel’ who paid elderly woman’s grocery bill in Newton

NEWTON – Marilyn Oettinger can’t stop thinking about it – and neither does her family.

“There she was,” says her daughter Margie, “confused, flabbergasted, embarrassed. And this guy saved her.”

She talks about last Thursday, when her 89-year-old mother went grocery shopping with other seniors at Auburndale’s Star Market — a rare unaided trip since losing her husband in July.

Things went well until the checkout line, when Marilyn discovered that her only credit card had been canceled two days earlier – because the account was in her late husband’s name.

“And this amazing person behind her said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll take care of your errands,'” Margie said.

The bill certainly wasn’t meager – it was $109.

But Marilyn accepted his offer – believing she would get the guy’s contact details and pay him back later.

“She tried to get his name,” Margie says, “but he said, ‘No. Just say a prayer for me.'”

And then – with his good deed done – the guy disappeared.

“It gives me chills,” said a woman wheeling a cart from the store on Monday night. “It’s an amazing story. Really cool.”

A man coming out of the store agreed.

“You know it makes me happy when someone who doesn’t really want the credit gets it. They deserve it, right?”

Indeed, the Oettinger family pledges to pay it with the same kindness on future trips to the supermarket.

But they also reached out on social media, at least trying to get a chance to say a real “thank you.”

“We are trying to find him,” says Margie Oettinger. “And even if he doesn’t want to come forward, we hope he knows that we are incredibly grateful to him.”

They’ve said that prayer before — many times.

“It’s amazing to have an angel like that,” Margie says.