Waffle House waitress gets needed help to fund funeral for regul - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Waffle House waitress gets needed help to fund funeral for regular customer

CONCORD, NC (WBTV) -

Mike Pardalis sometimes didn't talk at all. He might have been quiet, but his impact on Mandi Gardner was huge.

Gardner has worked at the Waffle House in Concord for 11 years and says sometimes Mike would doze off in a corner booth. But he was nice and he was a long-time regular customer.

"Rough around the edges with a marshmallow middle," is how Mandi describes the man she knew for many years. "But he was a sweet man. He's not going to just walk away from you with your keys locked in a car standing there with a baby."

The last time Mandi saw Mike, he helped unlock her car. Now, she is returning a much bigger favor.

On April 10, Mike had a heart attack and died alone in his van.

For about two weeks, his body was at NorthEast Medical Center. Not a soul called about claiming him. Not unless you count Mandi.

"There's no memorial, there's no headstone, no goodbye, nothing for someone to track down and find," Mandi told WBTV on Tuesday.

That was until Mandi started a fundraiser to raise the money needed to claim Mike's body and provide him a respectable service.

The story went viral after it aired on WBTV and many of you stepped up to help Mandi make her goals happen.

"Instead of being discarded, he's getting a Veteran's funeral," she told WBTV on Wednesday.

Many people came forward with information on how Mike's funeral could be provided for free because he was an Air Force veteran.

Now, Mandi has received word that he's eligible to be buried at the VA National Cemetery in Salisbury because he was honorably discharged.

Mandi has received more than $2,000 in donations from people interested in helping pay for Mike's funeral.

Now it appears the cost will be covered. Many of the donors on the online fundraising site have suggested Mandi donate the money to military organizations.

Mike will be laid to rest with full honors Wednesday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at the VA National Cemetery in Salisbury.

The funeral is open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Sunday, April 30 2017 12:31 AM EDT2017-04-30 04:31:34 GMT

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly