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Men's Deaths Leave Holes In Area Hy-Vee Stores

February 24, 2014, 5:29 PM by Leland Steva

Men's Deaths Leave Holes In Area Hy-Vee Stores
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Two men killed in a weekend car crash near Irene were Hy-Vee employees.

While Brad Johnson and Cody Kollars took different paths to working at the grocery store, they both were respected for their hard work and positive attitudes.

Johnson worked at the Hy-Vee at 49th Street and Louise Avenue for more than eight years. Kollars just started working by himself at 26th Avenue and Marion Road in January. Though the two men had different personalities, they will both be equally missed.

At two Sioux Falls Hy-Vee stores, there are fewer smiles after a tragic car crash took two lives.

Kollars was supposed to work at the 26th Street and Marion Road store Monday, which made the conversation Human Resource Manager Tammy Jo Zingmark had with employees especially difficult.

"Another tough call is notifying everyone downstairs that Cody's not here today and it's real different than a sick call. You know, it's like Cody is not here today," Zingmark said.

Zingmark says everyone loved working with Kollars because he always arrived early and brought his upbeat and talkative personality with him.

"Customers just really look forward to seeing Cody because he was just very positive and enthusiastic about what he was doing everywhere," Zingmark said.

Though Kollars isn't at work, there are plenty of reminders of him.  Nearly every worker is wearing a St Patrick Day's Parade pin that Kollars sold to them to raise money for the Special Olympics.

At 49th Street and Louise Avenue, Johnson was also loved by his co-workers. He had a quieter personality compared to his close friend, but he'll be remembered for his huge heart.

"He was a very quiet person, but the most respectful and thoughtful person you would probably ever meet in your entire life. He was a gentleman," Human Resources Manager Elyce Schinkel said.

Johnson was a car lover, especially Mustangs. His co-worker owns one and always talked about giving Johnson a test drive someday. It's a drive he'll never get to make.

"When it got to be nice and spring time out, he was going to let him drive his Mustang, as Brad just couldn't wait for that day. He was so excited and happy about it," Schinkel said.

Both managers say those two smiles now missing from their stores can never be replaced.

Johnson's funeral service will be held on Wednesday. Kollars' service will be held on Thursday. Both men were active in the Special Olympics.

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