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La Vista woman wanted to finish cake for friend's funeral the day husband dies; police help out

Posted at 7:09 PM, Oct 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-19 20:28:30-04

LA VISTA, Neb. (KMTV) — Saturday morning Karen Ressegieu of La Vista unexpectedly lost her husband, known to many as Pastor Jim.

"I checked on him at 1:30 and he was sleeping but at 6:15 he was gone," Ressegiue said.

When she couldn't wake him, she quickly called her neighbor and 911 and that is when four La Vista police officers arrived.

"They were standing here and I thought you know, I still haven't frosted this cake. That is what I got up at 6:15 to do," Ressegieu said.

The cake was for a funeral luncheon she and her husband Jim were going to attend for a friend from her church, First Covenant in Omaha.

"It was a poke cake, and I was putting cool whip on top of it," Ressegiue said.

The officers noticed this was important to her and that is when Officer John Danderand jumped in to help, after he convinced Karen to get the Cool Whip and he got busy.

"She was more concerned about everybody else than she was about herself," Danderand said.

"They didn't get to taste that cake, so I've got to make another cake and just bring it over there to them," Ressegiue said.

Something Pastor Greg Applequist of First Covenant Church said sounds just like Karen.

"She was so concerned about how this other funeral would go for her friend pat," Applequist said. "She actually makes wonderful desserts and she knew that's what we do, at funerals. We cater in the food but then we all bring in desserts for the family."

He said Karen and Jim are loved and well-known in the church, members of the choir and Jim would even fill in as pastor.

"Just the very small, not very flashy, very faithful, very steady people — that's who they are," Applequist said.

So even on an unimaginable day, Karen has words that hit the heart and said it's just what you do.

"Life is short. It's very fragile. Take care of one another," Ressegiue said.

Visitation for Pastor Ressegieu is at First Covenant Church in Omaha on Thursday, October 21 at 10 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m.

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