Married couple died coronovirus 4 minutes apart, holding hands for the last time: ‘They were a blessing’

A family in North Carolina faces two tragedies, after one month the spouses died and the novel separated from each other after a month-long battle with the coronavirus.

A man and a woman pose for a picture: Somerset Funeral Home Kathy and Johnny Peoples

© provided by people
Somerset Funeral Home Kathy and Johnny Peoples

Johnny Lee Peoples, 67, and his wife Kathy Darlene Peoples, 65, died of COVID-19 on September 2 at Novant Health Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, according to their joint obituary.

The couple had been battling coronoviruses for 30 days when they were put together in a room for one final goodbye, their surviving son Shane Peoples said.

“Everything went south, everything just went bad,” he told WBTV. “next day [medical staff] Putting them in the same room, in the same ICU room, they put their hands together, the nurses gathered and they passed each other within four minutes. ”

Shane said of his parents, “Their marriage had been 48 years, it’s been 50 years. They joined hands in those 50 years.”

Related: Elderly husband and wife die after contracting coronovirus: ‘They were a beautiful couple’

Both North Carolina natives, Johnny was a sergeant in the US Army and worked for the NC Department of Corrections, and Cathy worked as a teacher assistant at Salisbury Academy and a lab technician at LabCorp.

In relation to them Johnny was described by his relatives as someone who “loved youth sports, playing music and building the family tree,” while Kathy’s interest in crafting, Listening to music and playing cards.

Their loved ones said in tribute that the pair enjoyed fishing and “spending quality time with family and friends”.

Johnny and Kathy are survived by their three children, nine grandchildren and many relatives. She is also survived by her beloved poodle, Sammy and Macy.

Related video: Man says his last goodbye to his wife of almost 30 years shortly before the coronovirus dies

“Mom and Dad’s lives were stolen by a virus that many joke on a daily basis or simply believe it to be some kind of deception. Both took this epidemic seriously and are still ill Gone, yet dead… ”Shane wrote in a private tribute on Facebook. “My parents were not just a blessing to me, my brother, my sister, our spouse and our children. They were a blessing to everyone who met them.”

A man and a woman pose for a picture: Kathy and Johnny Peoples

© Somerset Funeral Home
Kathy and Johnny Peoples

“They both loved their family very much and did anything and everything they could possibly do for them,” he continued. “I had some very pretty awesome parents.”

In his post, Shane also encouraged people to wear a mask, wash hands and practice social distance between the ongoing epidemic.

“Hold your family,” he said. “Treat them every moment like it’s your last. It can be great. Love and keep loving.”

As information about the coronavirus epidemic changes rapidly, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some information on this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COFID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser that supports everything from frontline responders to needy families, as well as helping organizations. For more information or to donate, click here.

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