KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The widow of a local veteran wanted to help someone in need by donating her late husband’s special wheelchair. Because her husband has been active in veteran affairs, she was hoping the chair would go to a veteran.
The double cushioned electric wheelchair was custom built. It was made for the late Bill Kaylor, a US Army veteran, who retired from Magnavox. He died in 2019 of heart disease.
“Well, Bill was a large man, he weighed over 300 pounds. That’s why this chair was made for him. There are no standard chairs for that size of individual,” said Nancy.
Nancy and Bill had been married for over 50 years. He used the chair once when he was wheeled into his home. Now, Nancy wants to donate it.
“It belonged to a man who served his country, loved his country, his family and his God. And this would be a blessing to someone because it was a blessing to him. Even though he got to use it so little. So, we want to pass on that blessing,” said Nancy. “You pass on the love and that’s what he would want to do.”
Nancy also hoped to give away Bill’s manual wheelchair to a veteran who may need it. To help her, WATE’s Don Dare made a call to Post 104, an active American Legion unit in Sevierville. Its honor guard conducts over 100 funerals a year.
Contacting the Post, Dare asked ‘is there someone in the unit who could use a wheelchair?’ And, there was: Chaplain John Lewis with American Legion Post 104.
“I got a person for it right away. Actually, he’s the chaplain for the Post who could use the electric wheelchair,” said Post Auxiliary Member Mike Blackstock.
Nancy was overcome with emotion, and so thankful to Post 104. The manual wheelchair will also be of use to Lewis.
Over the weekend, Blackstock and Wayne Powell, Post 104’s sons of the American Legion members, picked up the chair at Nancy’s home and transported it to Sevierville where it will be presented to the Lewis.
“Bill was an Elder at church, he was Chairman of the Board. I knew I was doing this the right way,” said Nancy.
After Bill retired from Magnavox as an electronic technician, he worked part-time here at WATE in our production department. He was appreciated and respected for the care and concern he shared with young people. Like Nancy, we also know Bill would be pleased that his wheelchairs are going to Chaplin John Lewis with American Legion Post 104.