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Outdoor retail store rolls out red carpet for hospice patient

Fox 8 Cleveland

AVON, Ohio – It's a store that attracts those who love fishing, hunting and the great outdoors.

And one of its biggest customers fits that profile to a tee.

So when Albert Janosik, 89, made a stop at Cabela’s in Avon Wednesday, the staff there surprised him by rolling out the red carpet and greeting him with a personalized proclamation:

"Albert, being well-known as a lifelong customer of good-standing at Cabela's…not only for being a dedicated customer, but for wanting to see his favorite store catalog come to life."

Janosik says, "No, I wasn't expecting anything. I don't know if I deserve anything."

But his daughter Jackie Mertz says he’s all too deserving.

The special visit had been a gift in the works, thanks to Crossroads Hospice.

Mertz said, "He would order through the catalog. I remember him getting the catalog when I was a little girl and he'd be picking things out of it and ordering things."

After receiving many gifts, including a customized Cabela’s shirt, Albert was given the title of manager on duty.

He was then escorted on a personal tour through the store, with a $200 gift card in hand.

General Manager Ken Howard said, "...A dream for him to come and visit us and shop at a Cabela's store. We just had to do something to make it come true for him."

Albert dropped out of school in the 8th grade to work on the family farm.

He then entered the Army to serve in the Korean War. He received his GED at the age of 60.

Janosik moved into a nursing home two months ago, after his daughter says his body simply began breaking down.

“He's got severe arthritis, his knees don't work anymore," said Mertz.

But she says his sharp mind and uplifting spirit keep him going.

Albert is also a divorced father of five and retired construction worker and will celebrate his 90th birthday this coming January.