Police officer David Wisniewski was a beloved figure at the Cowan County courthouse in Georgia – a true Southern gentleman and a keeper of the peace.
When the 50-year-old died last week of complications from pancreatic cancer, deputy clerk Lindsey Shea Allen was bereft.
“He was probably the nicest person I ever met in my life,” she told InsideEdition.com Tuesday. “I never knew that he was sick. He never let on.”
She wanted to do something special for his fellow sheriff’s officers. So she ordered custom doughnuts, each with blue icing and Wisniewski’s badge number, 054. They were donated by Publix, free of charge.
It wasn't long before the generous act became an internet sensation.
“I never thought doughnuts would cause a big deal like this,” an incredulous Allen said. She posted a photo of the treats on her Facebook page, and told of the kindness of the store’s bakery employee, who charged her nothing.
Nearly 4,000 people have liked her post.
She had consulted with a bakery worker about the most fitting edible tribute. “I didn’t want to do a cake, because they’re police officers. I wanted doughnuts!”
And when she tried to pay for them, the employee refused her debit card. “He was just the sweetest, sweetest man,” she said. He told her the baked goods were on the house. “Just pass on our condolences,” he told Allen.
Wisniewski, who left five children and his wife of 12 years, Pat, was everyone’s favorite cop at the courthouse.
“He would run across the parking lot to make sure someone would open a car door for a lady,” Allen said. “All the people in the courthouse, it was like they lost their kid brother.”
Lt. Col. Lenn Wood of the Cowan County Sheriff’s Office said the 16-year department veteran “would do anything in the world to help you.”
Though he was battling cancer, he continued to pull his shifts without complaint.
“He came back to work no matter what,” Wood said. “He never let it change his disposition. He wanted to be upbeat.”
Allen also gave a shout-out to Publix in her post. A company spokesperson wrote back “It was our pleasure.”
She was especially thankful because a Walmart bakery in her state made headlines this week when a woman said store employees refused to make a cake with “Blue Lives Matter,” written on it for a retiring cop. Store managers later apologized and had the cake made, saying, “We were able to connect with the family and make it right.”
“For Publix to do that, it really meant a lot to me. I mean, I know it’s just doughnuts. I know it’s just doughnuts. But for us it was a big deal.”