Nebraska Man Baked 144 Pies After His Wife Died

After years of marriage, the life of widower can be lonely and without purpose. It’s important for widow/ers to find activities to keep them occupied and enjoying life. One Nebraska man found a new purpose in the inside of his oven.

Leo Kellner was married for 72 years before his wife, Madelon, died. Understandably, he was crushed by the loss. Without her by his side, he had reached a new low. In need of a hobby, he decided to take up baking.

In an interview with NTV News Nebraska, Kellner said, “After I lost my wife I didn’t know what to do. So I said, ‘ Well, I can bake,” so I started baking. Everything I do, I do it with love. That’s my secret ingredient…love.”


In the year after Madelon died in 2012, Leo Kellner put an impressive amount of work into baking. He baked 144 apple pies in that year alone.

As his baking skills improved, Kellner added cakes to his repertoire. Outside of his original apple pie, Keller makes chocolate, yellow, and angel food cakes.

On one occasion, Kellner made a wedding cake for some special newlyweds. However, wedding cakes are not his favorite, and he prefers not to make them.

For those with dietary restrictions, Kellner is happy to oblige. He has mastered a sugar-free pie for his diabetic “customers.”

The 98-year-old Kellner is happy to support his community through his baking. He does not charge for his treats, always giving them away for free.

Sometimes he would bake for funerals at his church, and other times to say thank you to the hospice workers who looked after his wife. Of course, it is also a perk of being his family or friend.

He told the Hastings Tribune, “I try to help everybody I can. It makes me feel happy. God left me here for a reason, and this is why I think he did.”