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Family remembers Killeen H-E-B staff for their hospitality

Posted at 5:47 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 07:05:18-04

KILLEEN, TX — A family is remembering the efforts the Killeen H-E-B staff has made after the decision to close its doors after 60 years of service.

A Killeen family was told they would never be able to have children, but only four months after getting married, Mary and Ben Ellerd were pregnant.

"It was a surprise but it was a really great surprise," said Mary.

But after the good news, Mary began to experience infections, kidney stones and was later diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Mary's doctor told her she needed to walk at least 30 minutes a day for the health of her unborn child.

However, living in a high crime-rated area of Killeen, it wasn't safe to walk outside.

It was then the manager of the downtown Killeen H-E-B opened their doors to Mary for her safety.

"He said, 'walk here, walk in the store.' I started walking there as often as I could and sometimes the H-E-B employees would even walk with me," said Mary.

She said she walked within the store daily, up until the eighth month of her pregnancy. In April 2018, Mary gave birth to a happy, healthy baby girl.

"I hope H-E-B knows how valuable all of (employees) are, and you really transformed the neighborhood. Everyone came to rely on all of you. I've seen them cover people when they were short, I have seen them help people that have fallen, help people that are sick. I saw one employee help an elderly lady buy some chicken. It's just a phenomenal group at that little store," said Mary.

The Ellerd's and their baby girl make sure to visit the store monthly to visit the employees who took care of them.

The store, which is located at 809 North Gray Street, is scheduled to close on Oct. 20.