A B.C. couple who met at Christmas dinner in 1965 discovered they each had COVID-19 on Christmas Day in 2020.
Within the 55 years between these fateful holidays, John and Helen Eberherr had three kids and 5 grandchildren, and had been energetic members of their church and group in Prince George.
They died simply days aside, unable to see one another or say goodbye whereas sitting in the identical hospital. He was 85, she was 78.
At age 23, Helen moved from Kelowna to Prince George to work on the Royal Financial institution. John’s sister additionally labored there, and invited Helen to spend the vacation along with her household, together with John, who took a right away liking to his sister’s new co-worker.
“My aunt at all times mentioned, ‘We knew that as quickly as your dad met somebody he appreciated sufficient, it was going to be fast,'” daughter Tracy Glaciar mentioned.
Positive sufficient, John and Helen had been engaged inside every week, and married six months later.
A homebody whose spouse refused to sit down nonetheless
Joseph (John) Eberherr was born to homesteaders in Prince George in 1935. His grandparents wound up in the neighborhood after taking a unsuitable flip on their approach to Kelowna and determined to remain.
John’s father began a small sawmill, and John dropped out of Grade 7 to work there. He spent the remainder of his profession working for mills within the metropolis whereas everybody else in his household departed for the Okanagan and the Decrease Mainland.
“He was a homebody,” Glaciar mentioned.
Helen put her profession on maintain to deal with elevating Glaciar and her two brothers. Not content material to sit down on the sidelines, she would volunteer and get entangled in her children’ classes, studying to ski and educating them how one can swim.
“She truly drove me loopy,” Glaciar mentioned. “She might by no means simply watch.”
Helen notably beloved swimming, and in retirement one among her goals got here true: The Eberherrs constructed an pool of their residence and opened it up for swimming classes for the neighbourhood.
“A whole bunch of individuals will need to have realized to swim there,” Glaciar mentioned.
Amongst them had been the Eberherrs’ 5 grandchildren, all of whom had been raised in Prince George. John and Helen would usually care for his or her grandchildren, however household visits got here to a cease when the COVID-19 lockdowns started final yr.
Whereas John had restricted mobility and stayed residence, Helen remained energetic, going for every day walks and maintaining in contact with family and friends.
“She wore a masks and sanitized however she simply actually felt that staying locked up wasn’t what she wished,” Glaciar mentioned. “So she would proceed to buy and proceed to dwell.”
The household is not certain how they caught the virus, however on Dec. 22, Helen advised Glaciar that John was shedding his urge for food. Glaciar satisfied her dad and mom to get examined for COVID-19 on Christmas Eve, and so they acquired the optimistic outcomes the following day.
On Dec. 28, Glaciar might hear a change in her mom’s voice — slurred and disjointed. She advised Helen to dial 911, hung up and began driving to her dad and mom’ residence.
Watching from a distance, Glaciar watched first John after which Helen get loaded into ambulances. Her dad and mom insisted they did not need to be hooked as much as ventilators.
Glaciar spoke to her father by way of video chat one final time earlier than he handed on Jan. 5, and had a number of telephone calls along with her mom. Whereas her father had been extraordinarily ailing and probabilities of restoration appeared low, her mom seemed to be in comparatively good well being — till she realized John had died.
“She simply type of stopped after that,” Glaciar mentioned. “I believe it simply grew to become an excessive amount of.”