85-year-old Bill Olwig and 83-year-old Patricia Olwig, whose maiden name was Abeln, got a cough around the same time a few weeks ago. Both had suffered years of medical problems that made them high-risk for complications from the virus.
When they both tested positive for COVID-19 and ended up on ventilators at Progress West Hospital in O’Fallon, their children realized they would likely not survive.
“We knew then, it would probably be the end,” the couple’s daughter, Rose, said.
St. Louis-area couple married nearly 61 years die on same day from COVID-19 https://t.co/mlrFT4ejOU
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch (@stltoday) May 8, 2020
On April 28, a family friend and Catholic priest, dressed in layers of protective equipment, performed the religious sacrament Anointing of the Sick for the Olwigs in their hospital beds.
Their seven children, 20 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren watched through a live video feed on Zoom as the priest asked for God’s protection and peace for the couple a last time.
On May 1, life support was disconnected from Bill and Pat. He died first, followed by his wife about 40 minutes later.
“It’s devastating,” their son Pat told the Post-Dispatch. “And I know they’re just this one small part of this thing that’s hitting people all over the world.”