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Utah musician creates special song after chance encounter with military widow

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Posted at 10:08 PM, May 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-26 00:08:08-04

PAYSON, Utah – The inside of a restaurant in Payson is filled with photographs, but one picture in particular brought some strangers together for a heartwarming story.

Dalton’s Restaurant features photos of men and women who served their country, and a photo of one such soldier was the focus of a chance encounter that led to something more.

Lance Shurtleff owns the restaurant and said the photos of veterans are important.

“I put veterans there that are still living or are deceased cause I want people to remember how we got our free country and to honor those men and women that are on that wall,” he said.

Patty Gasser’s husband, Don, is one of the soldiers featured in the photos, and she often comes to the restaurant to remember him.

“Ever since he passed away, I think of him all the time,” she said. “He was a special person, very special.”

Gasser met her husband in the ‘50s when he was serving in the U.S. Navy, and a year later they were married. Don passed away a few months ago, and now Patty is a frequent visitor to his photo at Dalton’s.

“She comes in and has lunch and dinner with him, which is very heartwarming,” Shurtleff said.

Cody Robbins, a singer and songwriter, was touched by the story.

“I met Patty here at the restaurant when she came in to view her picture while we were eating at the restaurant, and she apologized for interrupting our meal and told us the story, and we were just all so touched,” he said. “I just couldn’t help but write a song. I was so inspired.”

Robbins wrote the song, and he performed it for Gasser Saturday night. See video above for the reveal.

“Oh I love it,” Gasser said. “He did fantastic. He was great. Just not disappointed in anything he'd done. He told me he was going to, and he done it just perfectly.”

Gasser said the song was the perfect tribute to her husband for Memorial Day.