Neighborhood Cafe to feature Fussell’s favorites
Dale Ann Fussell loved spaghetti and meatballs and broccoli cheddar soup.
So those who worked with her at the Neighborhood Cafe will offer those favorite foods at a memorial meal today at the United Church of Christ.
Many people will show up to eat, as usual, for the weekly Tuesday night meal Fussell helped prepare prior to her death Feb. 12, when her home exploded from a propane leak.
Many more people will be there just to pay proper tribute to a woman who — herself in need — managed to give.
“She really wanted to give back to her neighbors,” said Patti Silva, head cook at the Neighborhood Cafe, where she worked with Fussell for two years. “To her it was important.”
Carol Heppell, who also worked with Fussell and Silva in the cafe kitchen, has taken the lead with decorations and flower arrangements that will bear the color purple, Fussell’s favorite.
Silva said she and Fussell liked to pass the time in the kitchen listening to music.
Sometimes, she said, they would break into “spontaneous dance.”
“Every Tuesday she would show up to help,” Silva said. “She’d get in at 12:30 and wouldn’t leave until 5 or 6. When I needed her to help me, she was there. She would bake at home. She had a gentle heart — a gentle soul.”
Fussell was disabled and had a bad back, Silva said.
That didn’t stop her. Not too long ago, Silva said, Fussell took in a troubled teenage girl.
And some of the food she picked up for herself at the Mobile Food Truck ended up with others.
“She followed the Golden Rule,” Silva said.
Funeral services for Fussell will be held at the church at 4:30 p.m. The Neighborhood Cafe is to begin an hour later.