Ga. couple married 50 years die of COVID-19 on Thanksgiving Day

PAULDING COUNTY, GA (WSB) – A Georgia couple married for 50 years died of COVID-19 hours apart on Thanksgiving Day.

The husband’s mother had died just weeks earlier with the same diagnosis.

A photo taken by Karen Kirby, the daughter of Willard and Wilma Gail Bowen, shows the couple in the ICU, holding hands on Thanksgiving Day.

The Bowens were from Douglasville, Georgia. Willard, known around town as an antique dealer, passed away first. Wilma Gail died a few hours later.

Their daughter said they both had COVID-19.

“I’m just so thankful, so thankful that their bodies are healed, and while we’re struggling down here, they’re not. They’re OK,” Kirby said.

Wilma Gail was a school nurse at Hiram Elementary School. A purple bow now hangs outside her office.

Kirby said she doesn’t think her mother got infected with the coronavirus at school. The 70-year-old had been off since early November to grieve her mother-in-law’s death.

Kirby said she isn’t sure where her parents got sick, but she finds comfort in knowing they’re together.

“Dad was probably standing at the gate saying, ‘Come on, Gail. Let’s go. I’m waiting on you.’”

Kirby said she’s grateful for the support she’s receiving from her Metro Atlanta community.

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