Sunday, October 2

Publix surprises widow celebrating first birthday alone


VERO BEACH, Fla. — An elderly Florida woman’s birthday surprise from the staff at a Publix grocery store recently went viral on Facebook.

Coraljean Dwyer of Vero Beach turned 83 on Feb. 1 – her first birthday alone since losing her husband of 63 years.

Dwyer’s daughter, Wendy, was out of town and couldn’t spend the day with her. But she called in a special lunch order for Dwyer’s favorite sandwich – and to surprise her, a piece of chocolate ganache cake – to the Publix store frequented by her mother.

The Publix crew, however, decided to go a step beyond for Coraljean Dwyer to make her day even more special.

Dwyer arrived at the deli, waited a few minutes, and a Publix employee approached her, asking if it was her birthday. “Uh huh,” she said, hesitantly.

A South Point Publix employee hands Coraljean Dwyer, 83, a piece of chocolate ganache cake for her birthday on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

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“Then he pulls out a dozen roses from behind him, and in the other hand he had a beautiful piece of cake,” Coraljean Dwyer said. “He said, ‘I picked them out like I would pick for my mother.’ And he did – they were the most beautiful roses.”

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