DENNIS VALSTAD BOWS his head during a community-wide prayer breakfast at Royal Ridges four years ago. 								        Ian Stepleton photo
DENNIS VALSTAD BOWS his head during a community-wide prayer breakfast at Royal Ridges four years ago. Ian Stepleton photo

     During his visit to Ripon last week to report on Ripon resident Dennis Valstad’s $500,000 gift to his funeral attendees, CBS correspondent Steve Hartman kept asking residents some version of this: “Why did he do it?”

     Most answered with the notion that Dennis was a good guy, nice fellow, devout Christian.

     But such responses didn’t really answer the question, as Ripon is full of nice men and women of faith who don’t share their estates with funeral goers.

     The only one who can really explain Dennis’ motivation for spreading his wealth among those who paid him their final respects no longer is around to tell us, and therein lies the true beauty of what he did for this community.

     The magic of Dennis’ posthumous act is that, while he was among us, he quietly made a decision to act in a way that did something most of us mortals find tremendously difficult if not impossible: He displayed perfect selflessness by putting God first. ...
                                                     — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Oct. 10, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.