IRENE, SD (KELO) — The Irene Bar and Grill is hosting a fundraiser for the restaurant’s weekend cook who died with COVID-19. Josh Buss was just 29 when he died last month, leaving behind a wife and 2-year-old daughter.
Each order of food comes with a heavy heart at the Irene Bar & Grill.
“It’s quite a loss to our community,” Irene Bar & Grill Manager Tammy Huether said.
Manager Tammy Huether hired Josh Buss, who was looking for some moonlighting hours on weekends.
“I needed somebody for Saturday nights and that’s the only night he wanted to work,” Huether said.
Huether remembers Buss as friendly and hard-working. About a month ago, he called in sick.
“He said, geez, I’m sick. I’m like well, take care of yourself. And that was the last time I talked to him,” Buss said.
Buss died just a few days later.
“He was, like, here and then gone,” Irene Bar & Grill cook Jodi Sherman said.
A life ended at such an early age has given some people in the community a different perspective on COVID’s deadly impact.
“You know, I’m about double him, so yeah, it does make you really think, makes you want to do a few things that you never did before,” Sherman said.
The bar is hosting a wings and fries fundraiser to pay for funeral expenses. In a small town, everyone comes together when tragedy strikes. And helping Buss’s family allows a grieving community to honor their co-worker and friend.
“He just wanted to be your friend no matter what, he was a very kind soul,” Sherman said.
Many people also came to know Buss as a butcher in town.
The fundraiser runs until 8 p.m. on Irene’s Main Street.
If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, there’s also a GoFundMe account.