Married 71 years, Ohio couple die from COVID-19 one day apart

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 12:23 PM EDT
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ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (FOX19) - A family is mourning the loss of their parents, who died of COVID-19 just one day apart.

Glenn and Gertrude Richardson’s 72nd anniversary is Friday. Glenn passed away on June 1, and Gertrude passed on June 2.

They are survived by their two daughters, Gerry Broerman and Glenda Gibson.

“He could tell stories like you wouldn’t believed,” Gibson said. “Mother was quiet. She was just our mother.”

Glenn and Gertrude first met in the 1940s while attending the same church. They graduated from Anderson High School and were married in 1948.

Broerman and Gibson say their mother had been in hospice care for the last four years.

“Every night they kissed when he would put her to bed,” Broerman recalled.

The sisters say a hospice worker told the couple she had come into contact with soon who had the virus.

“And 14 days to the day she told them she had been infected, that’s when he died,” Broerman said.

The sisters say their parents held hands until the end.

“She picked up his hand and dropped it. They say her eyes bugged out of her like she knew he died at that time,” explained Broerman.

“You could tell how much they loved each other,” Broerman added.

The sisters hope their parents’ love story will galvanize others to take the virus seriously.

“Don’t doubt,” said Broerman. “It’s serious. It can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter.”

“You think it only happens to the other person,” Gibson said. “But you’re the other person to someone else.”

Broerman and Gibson say they usually celebrate their parent’s anniversary on the Fourth of July with their two other siblings. They say that tradition will continue this year.

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