Michigan husband, wife die from COVID on the same day, 1 minute apart

Family mourns loss of both parents

Just days before Thanksgiving, a Michigan family lost both of their parents to coronavirus.

JACKSON, Mich. – Just days before Thanksgiving, a Michigan family lost both of their parents to coronavirus.

Nov. 28, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 350,021; Death toll now at 9,036

Leslie and Patricia McWaters spent nearly 50 years together before dying on the same day, one minute apart.

“It’s beautiful, but it’s so tragic. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet,” said Joanna Sisk. “One wouldn’t have wanted to be without the other.”

The couple was married for more than 47 years. Inseparable since the day they met.

“I can tell you this, when they passed we think Mom -- the boss -- she definitely went to his room and said, ‘Come on. Let’s go,’” Sisk said.

Patricia was a no-nonsense surgical nurse and Leslie was a fun-loving truck driver. Somehow their personalities were a perfect fit.

“Overall, it was give-and-take,” Sisk said. “They picked their battles.”

But coronavirus was a battle the Jackson couple couldn’t beat.

“It’s tough enough to lose one, parent but this was the worst,” Sisk said.

And like the thousands of Michiganders who’ve lost loved ones to the virus, Sisk said it’s agonizing to hear others brush off the risk.

“People were talking about it not knowing my parents in the hospital fighting for their lives and I just had tears streaming down my cheeks listening to them,” Sisk said. “Our entire family is completely devastated.”

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.