Clark was traveling to her home in Winnipeg after spending Christmas with family in Texas. The 79-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, was stranded at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport after an airport employee left her at the wrong terminal and she missed her flight.
Weak and exhausted, she finally made it onto another flight scheduled to stop over in Chicago. Onboard, a pair of shiny shoes on a man across the aisle caught her eye, and she struck up a conversation.
The man, Dean Germeyer, who runs a computer software consulting company in Chicago, learned of Clark's difficulties, and quickly began arranging for a wheelchair to meet them on the ground.
"You could see this 79-year-old woman is someone's mother, someone's grandmother and she needed someone to help her out," Germeyer said.
Once on the ground, he helped her rush to the terminal for her connecting flight -- they were too late. There was no flight home until 7 the next morning, and Clark figured she'd have to sleep at the airport, but that wasn't the case.
"I think a lot of people, what their underlying message is that they're hoping that someone would be there if their parents or grandparents needed help," Germeyer said.
He called home and told his wife, Nina, to expect an extra guest for dinner.
"Dean eats a lot, so we had plenty of food to go around," Nina said.
After dinner, Germeyer escorted Clark on a tour around the city and then booked and paid for a hotel room near his building. He also arranged for a car to pick her up and return her to the airport the next morning to fly home.
"Meeting a man like him, it's unbelievable," said Clark. "I will never forget him, never forget him… So what do you say? You say, 'thank you' and it's not even enough."
"It was a really small act on my part and a response that's overwhelming," said Germeyer. "Elsie's a special lady. We connected and that's why it worked out so well for everybody."