A final goodbye with a cup of coffee

OBSERVER Photo Each day, Randy J. Cimino stopped by the Tim Hortons on Lake Shore Drive East in Dunkirk.

Up until the day he died, Randy J. Cimino never missed his daily cup of Tim Hortons’ coffee. For those who work at the restaurant on Lake Shore Drive East in Dunkirk, they loved his company.

On Wednesday, Cimino gave one last time — to customers and those employed at the city business. Following his wishes, his sister, Kim Evanczik, and her daughter decided to have a “Re-membrance Day” at the shop in which random customers received a free small cup of coffee, courtesy of the Tim Hortons and Evanczik.

“Everybody who works in Dunkirk was very close to Randy,” said Gina Kron, owner of the Tim Hortons located in Dunkirk and Fredonia. “This is a great way for the employees to remember him and it’s helped in the healing process.”

Cimino, 56, a Fredonia resident, died Aug. 20 in Brooks Memorial Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer. Evanczik put together a beautiful obituary that was published in the Aug. 26 edition of the OBSERVER. Part of that notice included his attachment to the coffee and view of the Lake Erie.

“Tim Hortons has been a part of his life,” she said, noting he rented a location for 35 years from the Conti family in Fredonia. “He has all his Tim Hortons lids and the girls all put little hearts on them. He has them all on the wall in his garage.”

Besides the coffee, Cimino also loved his Harley Davidson motorcycle. As a member of the Silver Creek AMVETS Riders, he rode with the group in memorial runs as well as rides for fallen soldiers.

As of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the store was still giving out coffee in his memory, manager Cassie Robinson reported. It was only supposed to be about 100 cups, but that number increased.

“The store wanted to keep it going all day.” Evanczik said. “I wanted to come back down with more money because my daughter and I said we should make more smiles today and Gina said, ‘No, we got it.'”

Employees were more than happy to be part of the effort.

Those who received the free coffee also received a card in Cimino’s memory. “He came every day and was always smiling,” said Tim Hortons employee Jannelly Colon Cruz. “He was such a great person and doing this for him … means a lot to us.”

For Evanczik and her daughter, Brandi Pchelka, the day became a celebration. “He was a wonderful guy,” Evanczik said. “He really was.”

Hole-Parker Funeral Chapel in Silver Creek is handling arrangements and funeral services will be private.

John D’Agostino is the OBSERVER publisher. Send comments to jdagostino@observertoday.com or call 366-3000, ext. 401.