About Utah: After 57 years, a family thanks its hero

Published: Monday, May 13 2013 6:25 a.m. MDT

These days he shares the house in Bountiful he bought in 1957 for $13,800 with his grandson, Nathan, and Sparky, his dog. He still drives his own car and tends his own yard.

When Kathy asked if she could come to meet him, and bring LeNae, Falkner checked his schedule and said, "Sure."

They talked for hours. Kathy and LeNae told Falkner that it was only a month after the accident that their sister Bonnie entered the world. Three more brothers and sisters came after that: Donald, LeNae and Geniel. Just think how many lives he'd saved, they told him, just think of the family he'd kept whole.

Kathy and LeNae handed Falkner the scrapbook and cards they'd made. Inside the scrapbook, along with letters of thanks from extended members of the Peavey family, was a medal of honor.

"Who's that for?" he asked.

"That's for you," they said.

"I never dreamt anybody would look me up or anything," was all Falkner could think to reply, and then he let the women hug him and show affection all they wanted.

"Something got us there at the right time. I don't know what it was, but it was something," Falkner said, reminiscing about that day. "We weren't there but 10 seconds and they told us two guys was hurt … "

Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Mondays. EMAIL: benson@deseretnews.com

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