Lifestyle & Human Interest

Kind Stranger Helps Man in Store with Tie He Needed for Dad's Funeral


An Ohio couple has become friends with a stranger who paused inside a Walmart to teach them how to tie a necktie in preparation for a funeral.

Kevin Butcher is grieving the death of his father, but thanks to a stranger, his grief has a bit of a silver lining.

Butcher and his wife, Sherri Butcher, were shopping at a Walmart in Milford, Ohio, to purchase a necktie for Kevin to wear to his father’s funeral.

The unexpected interaction they had with a man named Howell Hackler left them teary-eyed and thankful.

“Today as Kevin and I were shopping for something to wear to his dad’s funeral we both realized neither of us knew how to tie a tie. Kevin noticed an older gentleman nearby and decided to ask if he could help. We both thought he might think we were crazy,” Sherri Butcher wrote on Facebook, “but we were both so wrong.”

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Heart heavy with grief, Kevin approached Hackler, who was wearing a tie.

“I said, ‘Excuse me, sir, but my father had passed away and I don’t know how to tie a tie. Would you mind?’ He didn’t hesitate,” an emotional Kevin told WKRC.

Hackler taught Kevin the ins and outs of necktie wear, making sure the tie was at the correct length before they were through.

“He reached to shake hands with him and then pulled Kevin in close to hug him and tell him how sorry he was to hear about losing his Dad,” Sherri wrote on Facebook. “He looked at me and said ‘take good care of him’ and he walked away.”

Sherri’s sweet Facebook post soon began to spread, interest growing as readers hoped the stranger’s identity would soon be made known.

Scarcely one day later, Hackler had been identified and met the Butchers to exchange a hug and a proper introduction.

“Meeting these two guys again — it’s great because I didn’t ever think I’d see [them] again,” Hackler told WKRC.

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The reunion would not be the last time Hackler would interact with the Butcher couple.

When the hard day of burying Kevin’s father arrived, Sherri and Kevin walked inside the funeral home to find Hackler waiting, ready to pay his respects and say a prayer for Kevin and his family.

Kevin and Sherri were overcome with emotion, deeply moved by Hackler’s kindness, compassion, and selflessness.

“There are just no words to explain how Kevin and I felt this morning,” Sherri wrote in a separate Facebook post. “This man is an absolute ANGEL on Earth!!!!”

The two men now share a bond, and they have a simple necktie to thank for it.

“Silly what a little old tie can do, ain’t it?” Kevin said to Hackler. “You are a kind, kind soul, sir.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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Lifestyle & Human Interest