On the last call Charlotte Jones had with her son Chuck Mills all she could talk about was how much she loved her family.
“She called to put my mind at ease, that she was getting better,” Mills said. “She could have lived another 10 years, easy. She went from healthy to dead in three days.”
Charlotte Jones died on March 31, one of eight COVID-19 fatalities in Sarnia-Lambton to date, and one of four residents from Landmark Village who succumbed to the virus.
Jones leaves behind four children, nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, and is survived by two brothers, Bob and Jim Gladwish, Mills told the Journal.
She was 88.
“The one thing I can say the most about my mom is her faith. Her faith in God,” he said.
Jones led a quiet life at the Sarnia retirement home. She loved the music and social activities there, and devoted much of her time to St. Paul’s Anglican in Point Edward. She often knitted items for church bazaars, he said.
She loved her family dearly and looked forward eagerly to visits from great-grandchildren and taking part in summer barbecues. She also loved watching her grandson, figure skater Michael Marinaro, competes.
“Michael used to FaceTime her at least once a week, if not twice a week. He was very, very close to her,” Mills said.
As of Monday, the number of residents and staff at the Landmark Village seniors home confirmed with COVID-19 had reached 20, one-quarter of all the known cases in Sarnia-Lambton.
Fourteen residents have contracted the virus. Five are in hospital and five are being treated in their suites.
Mills said Landmark staff had restricted all visits almost a month before his mother got sick.
“They were was up front with us about my mom. They did everything right, I believe,” he said. “They definitely had the best interest of all the residents in mind.”
Conversations he had with his mother the Sunday before she died sounded different, he recalled. She was out of breath and sounded unwell, yet tried to assure family she was fine, he said.
A phone call with the nurse shortly painted a more more dire picture, he added.
That evening, after telling a nurse how much she loved her family, she asked for a glass of water. When the nurse returned she was gone, he said.
Mills said his mother’s death underscores the need for everyone to heed the warnings of health officials to stay at home, maintain social distancing, and obey the other safety restrictions in place.
“These people that aren’t getting it, need to get it,” he said.
“You can’t get closer to home than what just happened. If you think you can survive this thing, good for you. But look at all the other people that you’re impacting.”