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Last wish granted for 96-year-old World War II veteran, with trip to a Rangers game

Louis Maidhof is in hospice with dementia, but that didn't stop him from taking in Friday night's Rangers-Twins game

ARLINGTON, Texas — For Louis Maidhof, Friday was a good day.

"It got off to a good start," he said with a smile. "I woke up."

Maidhof is a 96-year-old World War II veteran. And he was at the Texas Rangers game Friday night.

"He just likes being at the ballpark," his wife, Valerie, said. "He likes the atmosphere."

On Friday night, Louis had one of our cameras pointed at him. And he enjoyed that quite a bit - even sticking his tongue out at the camera at one point, before erupting in a belly laugh.

His granddaughters got a kick out of the hoopla around their grandfather, too.

"What, are you famous now?" one of them asked as they arrived and gave him a hug and a kiss.

"Am I famous?" Maidhof asked rhetorically. "I've always been famous. I've been famous since the day I was born!"

Maidhof turned 96 on June 22. He is in hospice for dementia. His hospice nurse, Juliana Gates, says he still has some time, which is why she organized for this last wish to happen on Friday night. 

Because she wanted him to be able to fully experience it -- and remember it.

Mostly, he remembers stories from decades ago like they were yesterday.

"What was your specialty in the army?" Gates asked him, egging him on.

Not missing a beat, Maidhof looked her in the eye and said, "killing people."

"Pffffft," his daughter, Debbie Brausch, scoffed and laughed. "He's full of mularkey!"

Short term memory is harder for him. This Friday night at the ballpark though, his last wish to go to a Rangers game, is special.

"I don't think he'll forget this at all," Brausch said. "I don't think he'll forget this at all."

He also hasn't forgotten what got him here, eagerly taking the opportunity to give advice to those just starting out.

"Take things as they come," he said. "Don't dwell on anything. Live your life the best you can. Always be willing to help the other guy."

And just ask his wife -- he's lived up to that mantra.

"I've always felt loved," Valerie said. "I've always felt needed and wanted. It's amazing. They don't make 'em like him anymore. They broke the mold with that one. Everyone tells me 'where'd you get him at?' I say 'Honey, they broke the mold when they made him.' Because he's just that special."

An unforgettable night. One last Rangers game. For a man who has lived life so well.

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