Philanthropist Grant Cushinberry Dies at Age 86

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Topeka, KS (WIBW)-- One of Topeka's best-known philanthropists has died.

Grant Cushinberry passed away Tuesday night at the age of 86. He leaves behind a legacy of caring.

Cushinberry spent more than 30 years running God's Little Half Acre, a place people could come for clothing, shoes, food and other items. When he had to close it in 2000 due to health reasons, Cushinberry told 13 News his desire to help others fulfilled a promise he made to God. He told God that if he survived World War II, he would spend his life helping other people.

Grant's mission extended beyond God's Little Half Acre to his work every year with the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. He'd go even further if there was a need - in 1992, he spearheaded efforts to load a truck full of supplies for victims of Hurricane Andrew.

In interviews over the years, Cushinberry would repeatedly say that he didn't do what he did for publicity, but because it gave him joy to help other people. He said his mother always taught them that no matter how bad they thought they had it, to look around and you'd find someone worse off.

It's an attitude he passed on to his family. In an interview last fall for the United Way, Grant's son, Garry Cushinberry, recalled the lessons his father taught. He said in the late 80s, Geraldo Rivero invited his father onto his talk show. Rivero asked Grant why he did what he did. Garry says Grant's reply was, "Why don't you?" Garry says his father always said everyone should do what they were able to do - and if they did, the world would be a better place. He recalled his father's favorite Bible verse taught that to those whom much is given, much is required.

Grant's work didn't go unnoticed. In 1998, he was selected for a leadership conference in Washington, D.C.. and in May 2002, the Topeka Rotary awarded him the Paul Harris Fellowship Medal.

But the honors weren't Grant's goal.

"I hope I leave this world better than I found it," Grant said.

Cushinberry's funeral will be Tuesday, June 8th at 10AM at Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. The church is located at 2420 SE Bellview. Cushinberry will lie in state an hour before the service.

Visitation for family and friends will be held Monday at Bowser & Johsnon funeral home from 4PM-8PM. The funeral home is at 723 SW 6th Avenue.

www.bowserjohnsonfuneralchapel.com

Click the video links for stories with Grant Cushinberry from our 13 News archives.<.b>


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