December 22, 2014

Daylily King’s farm in need of volunteers

James Kuch
Fred Sheill stands next to his truck days before his 100th birthday in 2008.
By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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AuGRES — The Daylily King is in need of help.

AuGres resident Fred Sheill, 102, has fallen under poor heath the past few months. His caregiver, Dana Odefey, said she has been watching Sheill 24 hours a day, and he can no longer care for his daylilies at the Daylily King Daylily Farm.

“Working with him and knowing him for the past three and a half years, this farm is the life that I have shared with him,” she said. “I know this may be my last year with him, and this farm looking beautiful can be my goodbye.”

Odefey is looking for anyone who wants to help her on the daylily farm, which has been operated by Sheill since he moved to AuGres over 20 years ago.

“I will take as many people as I can who want to help,” she said. “I need people who can watch the farm and some people with strong backs who can do some heavy lifting.”

Since Odefey moved to the area over three years ago she said she has developed a close relationship with Shiell.

“He has been my best friend,” she said. “I saw a flyer for his 100th birthday when I moved here, and said to myself, ‘I have to meet that man.’”

Odefey said Shiell told her that he has been amazed that people come from across the country to see him and his farm.

“He is amazed by the turnout,” she said. “People come from miles and miles away just to meet him.”

Odefey said taking care of Sheill and his 10-acre farm, and her boyfriend, Tony Ferguson, who she also cares for, has become “a lot to handle.”

“I was going back and forth between our house and Fred’s since May,” she said. “I now have to stay with Fred 24/7.”

Odefey said she has received help from Jonelle Ferguson, Tony Ferguson’s sister, who has been caring for Tony while Odefey is at Sheill’s home.

“Fred is family to me,” Odefey said.

Those looking to volunteer can call Odefey at 989-218-2017.

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