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Until death did they part.
A Michigan couple who spent nearly a half-century together have tragically died of COVID-19 on the same day — and at the same time.
Jackson natives Leslie and Patricia McWaters succumbed to the disease at a hospital on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 4:23 p.m., ending their 47-year marriage. They were 75 and 78, respectively, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Hospital staff “recorded their deaths at the exact same time,” their family writes in the funeral home obituary.
The family adds that Pat, whom her children describe as “definitely the boss,” died first, telling Leslie, “LD, it’s time to go!’”
“It’s beautiful, but it’s so tragic. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet,” their daughter, Joanna Sisk, told Detroit’s WDIV of the pair’s near-simultaneous passing.
Their deaths proved a bittersweet ending to what the obit deemed “quite a love story.” Married on April 16, 1973, the elderly lovebirds were “polar opposites” — Pat was “no nonsense” and Leslie, better known as LD, was “fun-loving.”
Pat, a registered nurse at the hospital now called Henry Ford Allegiance Health for 35 years, continued to meet with former colleagues once a month after she retired, according to the obit, which adds that her sisters, sister-in-law and daughters were her “best friends.”
‘It’s beautiful, but it’s so tragic. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet.’
Meanwhile, LD, was a veteran of the United States Navy Reserves who worked as a trucker, transporting everything from asphalt to cheesecakes until his retirement. But his true talent, according to his family, was whipping up his “famous strawberry booze” for a chili cook-off. LD, who “had more friends than anyone could count,” also specialized in slinging sometimes off-color “one-liners” — such as “It’s colder than a well-digger’s ass!”
Despite their vastly different backgrounds, the senior soulmates did everything together, including playing board games with their family, driving their 1959 Corvette to car shows and watching their great-grandchildren, Maxx and Mia, race quarter-midget cars. In the summer, the couple would go on an annual family canoe trip and host pool parties, where Pat “made way too much food,” per the obit.
They also loved to go dancing at the bar where they first met. According to LD, “Pat was the most beautiful woman ever and, boy, did she look good in hot pants and go-go boots!”
“They did almost everything together, so it should be no surprise that they went to be with the Lord together within the very same minute,” said the obit. Pat and LD have since been cremated, with a memorial service slated for next spring or summer. In addition to daughter Joanna Sisk, they are survived by another daughter, Susan Brewer, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Passing in tandem may seem romantic, but Pat and LD’s deaths are also a cautionary tale, as Sisk suspects they contracted COVID-19 from eating at restaurants, against her wishes, the Detroit Free Press reported. Holing up inside just didn’t jibe with their active lifestyles, according to Sisk.
Once they fell sick, however, LD and Pat reportedly regretted behaving so recklessly.
“People should be worried, and they should be concerned and take it seriously,” Joanna said about the coronavirus, which has infected over 380,000 Michigan residents since March, resulting in nearly 10,000 deaths.
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