FARMINGTON, Minn. – Days before his 91-year-old best friend passed away, 5-year-old Emmett Rychner prayed with him to say goodbye.
Emmett and Erling Kindem of Farmington, Minnesota became fast friends a few years ago. When Emmett was just 3-years-old, he’d rush over to his next-door neighbor’s house to inspect his garden.
“Every time he saw me out there, he would come running over. ‘Erling, got and ‘matoes?’” Erling, a WWII veteran, told KARE in 2014.
Their friendship grew, and soon the pair were riding bikes and playing croquet together.
Eventually, Emmett and his family moved to a different county, and Erling moved into a retirement home. But they continued to see each other for play-dates and special occasions.
As Erling’s health was declining, little Emmett came to visit him at the nursing home.
“Emmett read the Lord’s Prayer to him,” Erling’s son, Charlie Kindem told ABC News.
Erling passed away away just two days later, on Saturday.
Erling served his country in 29 combat missions. His wife passed away in 2015.
KARE followed Erling and Emmett’s special bond in a series of stories. Check out some of their coverage of the charming friendship below: