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Moline’s ‘Can Man’ remembered for work ethic, humor

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MOLINE, Illinois-- As Cody Boggs sorts and cuts scrap metals, in his mind, he's trying to sort out something else.

"We've seen him everyday for four years because I've been working in this part for four years, and he hasn't missed a day," says Boggs.

Boggs works in the intake center at Midland Iron and Steel in Moline, and Boggs says that man who hasn't missed a day, is known as 'Can Man.'

Cody says it was Can Man - identified Monday afternoon as 63-year-old Robert Moldenhauer - who was riding his bike carrying aluminum cans when he got hit by a van and died on Monday.

Moldenhauer stopped by once, sometimes even twice a day bringing in scrap metal he collected for money.

"It could be raining sleet and snow, don't matter. He'd still be coming in here. -20 degrees, he's still in here," says Boggs.

It was his hard work attitude that stays with Boggs.

"He'd come in, icicles dripping from his beard and mustache. We'd let him sit there, warm up with our heaters," says Boggs. "He's got a better work ethic than most people nowadays, and he was doing it close to nothing."

Boggs says Can Man would scrap up about $10 a trip to the recycling center. Once the cans were counted and the business done, the two would get to talking.

"He was pretty unique, actually. He was very knowledgeable too. He could sit there and talk for hours and hours. He never really asked for help from people. He always did everything on his own," says Boggs.

It's a slice of Cody's day he already misses.

"When I was told he was hit by a car, I was like wow. That's a really big shocker, especially now that we won't be able to see him anymore," says Boggs.

But he says he will never forget how the Can Man, his friend, lived his life.

"His work ethic will always stick with me, so it's much easier for me to work. At least I didn't have to go out there and do it like he did," says Boggs.

Moline police are interviewing witnesses to the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

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