Linda Bisignano, the owner of Chuck’s Restaurant in Des Moines has died.
Her 25-year long battle with cancer came to an end Monday just weeks before Chuck’s annual free Thanksgiving meal for the needy.
“Linda was a woman that had a heart of gold,” Thanksgiving meal organizer Paul Tullis says. “If we didn’t have the money to come in and pay for the meal she would pay for it out of her own pocket to pay for it. She told us that many times. She said don’t worry about money, I’ll take care of it.”
Bisignano’s family opened Chuck’s in 1956 in Des Moines’ Highland Park neighborhood.
For the past 30-years, the 64-year old has allowed volunteers to use the restaurant to feed thousands of needy people on Thanksgiving Day. Organizers of the Parks community Thanksgiving Dinner say they will continue serving this year and for years to come even if that means serving it from somewhere else.
They say that is what Bisignano would have wanted.
“She would want it to go on forever. That’s the way Linda was. Her heart was big,” Tullis adds.
Bisignano had said she wants whoever buys Chuck’s to continue the Thanksgiving tradition. This year, volunteers expect to serve more than 3,500 meals.