When the Rev. Larry Bogard was a child, he always knew what his mother meant when she told him to get his red wagon.

Doris Bogard was letting her 5-year-old son know they were both about to burn some shoe leather to deliver a meal of homemade chicken and dumplings to a family in need.

“Giving to people was her ministry,” said Larry Bogard, who explained they had to use his wagon to transport the meals because his mother never learned how to drive.

Although that was more than 60 years ago in rural Daviess County, Doris Bogard still has a giving nature that apparently is contagious to the staff of the nursing home where she lives.

Her lifelong example motivated employees at Hickory Creek at Columbus to devote several hours on the day before Thanksgiving delivering pies to 20 organizations, businesses and individuals — in a red wagon.

“We wanted to honor this amazing woman because she has given so much,” Hickory Creek administrator Diana Gore said.

Those chosen to receive the tasty deserts Wednesday were groups or individuals that Hickory Creek works with almost on a daily basis: Thrive Alliance, Just Friends Adult Day Care Center, Adult Protective Services and other nursing care facilities, Gore said.

The red wagon also was shuttled about to deliver pies to local firefighters, law enforcement officers and the emergency room and every other floor of Columbus Regional Hospital, she said.

“Many of these are places we utilize every day, and we wouldn’t have our business without them,” Gore said. “So this was our way of showing how much we appreciate them.”

As Larry Bogard, now 70, recalled the years from 1950 to 1953, he and his mother sometimes had to walk several miles from their rural Washington, Indiana, farm — where they raised chickens, among other things — to deliver meals to the less fortunate.

While Doris Bogard continued to provide to needy families in the decades that followed, she was always able to find others willing to provide her with transportation, her son said.

Although that was physically less exhausting, Larry Bogard still fondly recalls how those long mother-and-son walks created a special bond between them. At the core was a mutual passion for giving to others, he said.

So at 100 years old, what does Doris Bogard expect to receive for a lifetime of helping those less fortunate?

As she told her son: “The only reward I ever wanted was God’s blessing on our family.”

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.