“I’m 85, with COPD,” his daughter, Julie Carlson, recalled him saying. “If I get this, this is probably a death sentence to me.”
Still, it was a shock when he was diagnosed with COVID shortly after Christmas. He died Dec. 30.
It was even more stunning when his wife of 60 years, Pat Nitz, 81, who had just played the organ for Christmas Eve church, also contracted the virus and died a week after him, on Jan. 7.
“Their deaths so close together of COVID, that’s the type of stuff you read about in the national news, but that you never think is going to happen to you or in your community,” Carlson said.
Carlson and her family will finally get to hold the memorial service for Derrell and Pat on Friday, July 16, at Faith Lutheran Church, which they had attended for many years. Like many services, theirs was delayed because of the pandemic.
READ MORE: The obituary of Derrell and Patricia Nitz
Pat and Derrell