Joseph Anthony Villasenor, a United States Air Force veteran who served his country for 16 years, was killed in a car accident while driving to pitch in a Charleston Air Force Base Air Force Softball League game on August 9, 2010. He was laid to rest at the Garden Park Cemetery in Conroe, Texas. Last summer Texas suffered a severe drought and the once brilliant green grass covering the graves turned to a sad brown. While visiting their son’s grave that summer, Rachel and Raymond Villasenor were shocked to find their son’s grave covered in green grass. Certain that an angel was watching over their beloved son, the parents quickly learned the identity of the benevolent spirit maintaining Joseph’s grave.
86-year-old Jake Reissig, a complete stranger to the Villasenor family, had been watering the grass over Joseph’s grave every week. Reissig’s wife of 65 years, Liz, had died the year before and was buried just a few feet away from Joseph. Every Sunday Jake followed the same routine: church in the morning, coffee with one of his 9 children, and finally visiting his beloved wife. Without fail, Jake would bring a new bouquet of roses to his beloved wife, and while he was there he would take a few minutes to water the grass around her grave.
One Sunday he noticed a young woman weeping beside Joseph’s grave. The gentle widower attempted to offer some consolation, and learned that the bereaved woman was crying for her fallen brother. Looking at the poor woman and the sad state of the grave beneath her, Jake felt that watering Joseph’s grave was the least he could do. Joseph continued his weekly vigil until he eventually met Joseph’s parents who gave him a loving embrace after learning the truth behind his kindess. Jake’s story went viral after his son Roger posted pictures from the cemetery to Facebook.