A North Carolina family is reeling from not one, but two losses due to the coronavirus.
Johnny Lee Peoples, 67, and his wife Cathy Darlene Peoples, 65, (pictured above) died of COVID-19 just minutes apart from each other on September 2 at Novant Health Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury following a month-long battle with the virus, according to the couple’s joint obituary.
Their surviving son, Shane Peoples, noted that both North Carolina natives had been dealing with the illness for 30 days before they were put in a room together to say a final farewell. He explained to WBTV:
“Everything just went south, everything just got worse. The next day put them in the same room, same ICU room, they put their hands together, the nurses gathered around and they passed within four minutes of each other… They were married 48 years, been together 50, they walked hand in hand for those 50 years.”
In those 50 years, the pair accomplished quite a lot: Johnny was a sergeant in the US Army and worked for the NC Department of Corrections, according to an online tribute, and Cathy worked as teacher assistant at Salisbury Academy and a lab technician at LabCorp.
Their obituary described Johnny as a man who “loved coaching youth sports, playing music, and building the family tree,” while Cathy’s relatives listed her interests as crafting, listening to music, and playing cards. Both were said to have enjoyed fishing and “spending quality time with family and friends.”
Shane wrote in a tribute on Facebook:
“The lives of Mom and Dad were stolen by a virus that many joke about on a daily basis or just straight out believe it’s a hoax of some sort. Both of them took this pandemic seriously and still got sick, still died… My parents weren’t just a blessing for me, my brother, my sister, our spouses, and our children. They were a blessing to every person that met them.”
Johnny and Cathy are survived by their three children, nine grandchildren, and two beloved poodles, Sammy and Macy.
Shane continued in his post:
“They both loved their family very much and did anything and everything they could possibly do for them. I had some pretty darn awesome parents.”
Shane concluded his message by encouraging people to take COVID-19 regulations seriously by wearing a mask, washing their hands, and practicing social distancing amid the ongoing pandemic. He noted:
“Hold your family close. Treat every moment with them like it’s your last, it could very well be. Love and keep on loving.”
So heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with the Peoples family during this difficult time.
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