Just days after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus a couple married for more than 70 years died six hours apart in a Wisconsin hospital.
Wilford Kepler, 94, died on April 18 at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa just hours before his 92-year-old wife Mary.
“Their beds were together at Froedtert and they were able to hold hands during their last days,” the obituary read. “Mary commented before her death that she was being cared for by Angels.”
Though both had tested positive for coronavirus, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said only Mary died of the virus, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her secondary cause of death was listed as diabetes, hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to the Medical Examiner. Wilford’s cause of death, meanwhile, was listed as a traumatic head injury after he fell on April 12. The virus was his secondary cause of death.
Mary tested positive for the virus on April 8, and quarantined in her home. But after Wilford’s fall, both were admitted to the hospital, where Wilford tested positive as well, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Granddaughter Natalie Lameka said she’s not sure how her grandparents were exposed to the virus, but knew they were still running errands and buying groceries.
“They still had to live their lives, as much as we wanted to help them,” she said.
Both Mary and Wilford attended Richland Center High School, though Wilford was drafted and reported for duty in World War II before his class graduated, according to their obituary. Mary reportedly started writing to him while he was serving, and when he returned, they married in 1946.