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Home Depot employee Jase Skar takes a water break as Bob Ware looks on while his family and other volunteers helped the World War II veteran relocate to a new home.

The aged elevator system of The Parker apartments in downtown Minot has proven to be an obstacle for many of the elderly residents of the building, forcing some to consider relocating to a new residence.

One such resident is World War II veteran Bob Ware, who moved to Minot from Clovis, New Mexico, to remain close to family that moved to the area.

“My wife died and I had a great-granddaughter that had three boys that lived about a block and a half from me. Every day they’d come see me and spend the night with me. I got so close to them that when they moved up here, I waited a year and moved.” Ware said.

Though 95-year-old Ware has enjoyed living at The Parker the last three years, he, like many others, have found the trip back and forth to the seventh floor of the nine-floor building was becoming more than he could manage.

“I can come down but getting back is kind of hard. My wind is fine, that doesn’t bother me. But my knees kind of hurt. At 95 years old I guess it’s finally time for something to go bad.” Ware said.

Matthew Palacio slides a piece of furniture to his wife Shauna Palacio outside The Parker apartments on Monday afternoon as they and other volunteers helped a local World War II veteran move.

Despite having his grandaughter Wendy Bryant and other family nearby, the prospect of moving all of his possessions out of The Parker proved to be just as daunting. Fortunately, word had gotten out about Ware’s predicament, leading to a wellspring of support from local businesses and other good samaritans.

“I’ll be moving to a place by the mall – everything will be ground level. I think I’ll like it.” Ware said, “What’s going on now is unbelievable. That they’d come in for someone they don’t even know and do what they’re doing.”

Some Home Depot employees pitched in with the move itself, hauling boxes and furniture down the stairs despite some of them being scheduled to work later that evening. Other volunteers trickled in throughout the afternoon, throwing themselves at the herculean task before them, some of whom were a complete surprise to Bryant.

“One guy showed up and I thought he was with Home Depot. He was here all day and when I finally asked him he said, ‘I saw someone talking about it on Facebook, so I showed up.’ He’s been working his tail off.” Bryant said, “It’s been amazing. It’s been really good to see.”

Bryant said she was very grateful to all who showed up to help, having grown intimately familiar with every flight of stairs to the seventh floor in the three years her grandfather has lived at The Parker.

Bob Ware’s granddaughter Wendy Bryant and Matthew Palacio navigate down a flight of stairs in The Parker, which has been without a consistently working elevator for much of the last year.

“We’re about 75 percent through. Home Depot gave us the truck until noon tomorrow (Tuesday) so we’re planning on keeping it in the garage at the new place overnight. There’s a lot more boxes than we thought. It’s tedious. There’s a lot of steps.” Bryant said.

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