About a month after losing her husband, Donna Quick is finding her footing again.
Her husband, Chuck Quick, 61, had heart problems and other health issues, and died from a blood infection March 15.
With a Dec. 11 wedding anniversary, Christmastime was always special to the couple, who ran Village Junction Bakery-Café in Arbutus, she said. Somehow, she knew it would be his last Christmas. Just a feeling she had.
He wanted to keep the Christmas tree up longer than usual, and she let him.
A few months later, after his death, Quick has seen an outpouring of support from the community. The Quicks grew up in the Catonsville area, and Donna Quick still lives there.
A GoFundMe fundraiser to help with funeral costs and loss of business in the 17 days the bakery closed after Chuck Quick's death has raised more than $9,100 as of April 11.
"I can take the time to get my feet underneath me," she said.
That money has been particularly helpful because of issues with Chuck Quick's life insurance policy, she said. He got a life insurance policy about six months ago, but because he was a high-risk client, the policy won't pay out because he died within two years of purchase, she said. The family got the premiums they put in back, but nothing else.
Quick's employees and family has been instrumental in getting the business running again, she said.
In late 2013, the couple opened the Village Junction Bakery-Cafe on Sulphur Spring Road as a reincarnation of their two longtime businesses in Catonsville, the Village Bakery and the Coffee Junction.
The Quicks had been forced to close their shops in 2009 after Chuck Quick developed a diabetic wound on his foot in 2007. Chuck Quick took a job as a baker at Graul's Markets in Ruxton and his wife began work as a physical therapist at St. Agnes Hospital so they could both have health insurance.
Chuck Quick was head baker, in charge of the danishes, doughnuts and pies, his wife said. She was in charge of cakes and cookies, along with the day-to-day operations of the business.
One recipe loved by the community, according to Donna Quick, was his marshmallow doughnuts. He made the filling himself.
Those recipes will be passed on and made the same by a recently hired pastry chef, Donna Quick said. Currently, the bakery is open on weekends.
The Village Junction's way of making things Chuck's way won't change, she stressed.
Chuck Quick had a crazy sense of humor, his wife said. The couple would have silly things, like a flour fight in the kitchen. Chuck Quick would switch around the words to songs in funny ways.
"Everything was a joke," she said.
They met at the Coffee Junction, which he owned at the time. She was an employee.
One year she went to a Christmas party with him and mutual friends, and the pair hit it off despite a 23-year age difference.
This Christmas would have marked 18 years of marriage, she said. He had three sons previously, and the couple raised Donna Quick's daughter Ashley Scarlett together.
Chuck Quick loved the beach, his wife said.
"That was our escape," she said.
They visited Ocean City four times this past summer.
Chuck Quick opened the Coffee Junction in 1992. Apart from baking, Chuck Quick did a little bit of everything in his life, his wife said.
He sold Christmas trees, ran a printing press, was a semipro bowler, ran an angelfish hatchery and was a firefighter in Woodlawn. He had an excellent work ethic, his wife said.
The bakery will start a Wednesday-to-Sunday schedule when the new pastry chef starts full time, Donna Quick said.
For updates on the store's hours, check its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VillageJunctionBakeryCafe.
To donate to the GoFundMe fund, go to www.gofundme.com/2ruaa95v.