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Married for 61 years, Neal and Lavonne Losure lived their lives to the fullest until the day they died — less than 24 hours apart — just weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
While we tend to romanticize when couples die so closely together, Sheila Trexler says the reality of the battle her parents faced with COVID-19 was not the way any love story should end.
“Even though they died right next to each other and less than a day apart, Mom didn’t want to die. She wanted to live — and COVID didn’t let her live,” Trexler said.
A Story of Love
Trexler says her parent's story was full of love.
Although she isn’t sure exactly when her parents met, their early courtship was just as sweet as their lives together.
Neal and Lavonne would meet often at Fairmount Park, which wasn’t particularly close to either of them.
“My mom and my aunt would drive the tractor down and Dad would walk from Marion just to see her,” Trexler said. “If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.”
The couple was married on June 19, 1959.
“61 glorious years,” Trexler said.
The couple had five children: Sherry, Debbie, Madeana, Sheila, and Chuck.
“My dad wanted a boy. My mom went through four girls before she got that boy,” Trexler said.
“Everybody loved him”
Neal was a factory worker and spent nearly 32 years at General Motors before he retired in 2000.
He enjoyed playing the lottery, NASCAR, football and Facebook.
“Everybody loved him just as well and he wasn’t afraid to let you know that he loved you,” Trexler said.
He also loved Facebook — although he wouldn’t admit it — and he made sure he was online celebrating all of his family’s birthdays and letting them know he cared.
“My birthday is on Halloween and my mom and dad always came to my house to help celebrate,” Trexler said. “We would have a haunted house that my mom would help scare people and my dad would help pass out candy.”
Trexler’s birthday last year came while her father was battling COVID-19.
“He was sicker than a dog with COVID, but he made sure he got on (Facebook) and did it anyway,” she said.
A Passion for Life
Lavonne had a passion for life that shined through in everything she touched.
“She would do anything for anybody. She had more mojo in her little pinky than all of us have in our whole body,” Trexler said.
One of those passions was her garden, which was featured during Fairmount’s Home and Garden tours.
“She had an immaculate home. She kept her yard and garden looking fabulous,” Trexler said.
Creatures of Habit
Neal and Lavonne were creatures of habit and would go to the same restaurants again and again.
“On Saturday they would go to Texas Roadhouse,” Trexler said. “Other days, it was Mexican and the buffet. My dad hated Mexican, but he did it anyway because mom loved Mexican.”
Part of that routine was also their nightly golf cart rides through the neighborhood.
“They would feed their cats and by 5:30 they were on the golf cart,” Trexler said. “They would drive around Fairmount and it was the same route every night … they could tell you everything that was going on with their neighbors.”
The couple was also crowned ‘King & Queen’ during James Dean days several years ago.
“They got to wear a crown and he just had a baseball hat and they got to be in the parade and celebrate that,” Trexler said.
The COVID-19 Battle
The couple was admitted to the hospital on November 7, 2020.
They were treated in separate rooms, but Trexler said the nurses were able to wheel Lavonne into Neal’s room on November 20 where she and the rest of the family said goodbye.
He died at 1:58 p.m.
Grieving one devastating loss, the family said their goodbyes and left Lavonne to continue her treatments and recovery.
By 8:49 a.m. the following morning, COVID had taken her life as well.
“They were good people that did not deserve to die,” Trexler said. “I have never been so heartbroken as this.”