Normandy man who operated food pantry for the needy, passes, family asks community for help

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NORMANDY, MO – A family from Normandy is grieving for the man they said, gave so much to the community.

The family of Frank Gieson who died Friday of a heart attack said he made the holidays special for those who needed help but now, they need help with his funeral expenses.

“He gave everything,” said Mr. Gieson’s widow, Joan Gieson, “he never said no to anyone.”

Mrs. Gieson and her son Michael Gieson described the husband and father as someone who was, ‘genuine and generous.’

Fox 2 witnessed the 82-year-old’s generosity back in November at the Joan Gieson Ministries of Love in Bridgeton.  When thieves broke into the family-run pantry and took off with truckloads of food, meant to feed hundreds of needy families Mr. Gieson was in tears.

“The more you give, the more you get back,” he said during the November interview while he cried.

“They have given the shirt off their back and the food out of their refrigerator all their lives and put themselves second,” his son said.

“I’ll tell you, there never will be anyone who could take his place,” said Mrs. Gieson.

The family is asking the community to help with giving him a proper if not a dignified burial.

“A little payback,” said Michael, “I would appreciate it because they have been there for a lot of people.”

Michael said that he will take over the food pantry and continue to operate it so that needy families can be helped.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the funeral.

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