Last week when the Willie’s Super Valu white delivery van pulled up in front of your house, it’s a sure bet that Shayne Hesse jumped out and carried your groceries to your door. Wearing his signature hat and jacket imprinted with the store’s logo, Shayne has been driving the van and delivering groceries for the past nine years.
Shayne started working at Willie’s in 1991, the year of his high school graduation, stocking shelves and as a carry-out worker. “I first worked in the former Red Owl store which was located across the street from where the store is now,” he said. “Later, I helped Willie on the deliveries and when he passed away in 2004, I took over delivery with the van.”
Shayne Thomas Hesse was born June 13, 1972, to parents Marcia (now Schroeder) and Lynn “Skip” Hesse. Marcia works as a public health nurse for Stevens Traverse Public Health. Skip is retired from cable television management. One sister Wendy lives in St. Michael-Albertville. Younger sister Brynna lives in Eagle Point, Ore.
Shayne attended school in Chokio-Alberta and graduated from Chokio-Alberta High School in 1991. He credits teachers Opal Olson and Ellie Logan for making it “fun to learn.”
Raised on a farm, he now lives in Morris with dad Skip. “I like living in town,” he said, “more people around and more to do.”
“More to do” includes his membership in the Morris Eagles Club where he served on the Board of Directors and has been an inside guard, a position that welcomes visitors and escorts them to meet the president of the organization. He also played several years for the Eagles dart team in the Morris dart league.
Among its many services to the community, “the Eagles organization gives scholarships to high school students and grills at [University of Minnesota, Morris] Cougar football games,” said Shayne, both of which he has been a part of.
Shayne enjoys sports and travels to Alexandria to watch the Beetles (baseball) and Blizzard (hockey) play. “I read the Morris Sun Tribune from cover to cover and the sports section of Willmar’s West Central Tribune.”
Along with his dad and uncles, “I also like deer hunting and summer fishing,” he said. Annually on the 4th of July, about 30 members of the Hesse family gather at the family cabin between Glenwood and Villard to fish and enjoy the holiday.
One can often find Shayne walking along Morris’ bike trails with his 11-year-old yellow lab hunting dog Abby. “I like being outside,” he said. “I also like to mow lawns, which I do as a business with Dad.”
While Morris’ grocery store Martin family is known locally for their singing, it’s perhaps a little-known fact that Shayne also enjoys belting out an occasional song or two. He and Becky (Martin) Arnold are famous for their rendition of Johnny Horton’s “Waterloo” during the annual store Christmas party.
As for his job, Shayne enjoys working among friendly co-workers and with the area’s customers. His 40-hour work week includes loading the van with boxes and bags of groceries and collecting what is owed when he delivers them to places such as Grandview Apartments, West Central Homes, Heritage Apartments and Skyview Court and Plaza, in addition to private homes in Morris, Chokio and Hancock, and some local businesses.
During a particular delivery he found that an older woman had fallen and her husband couldn’t lift her. Shayne called 911 and stayed until help arrived. When asked, he has helped put away groceries for seniors and others who couldn’t manage the task for themselves.
Shayne has had his own caps and jacket designed. One favorite cap (shown in the photo accompanying this column) is half Willie’s Super Valu/UMM Cougar maroon in front and half retro Red Owl in back. He’s also had a red jacket made with “Your Friendly Delivery Guy” printed on it.
Shayne especially enjoys interacting with seniors.
“It makes them happy when they see me coming,” he said. “They smile.”