COVID-19 takes the lives of a Jackson couple who “did everything together”


Frank Witsil

| Detroit Free Press

This obituary is part of a series called “We Will Remember” about those we lost to the coronavirus.

Leslie and Patricia McWaters – Jackson’s natives who had been married for almost 50 years – “did almost everything together,” their relatives said. They danced together. They watched their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren grow together. And eventually they infected the coronavirus and died together.

Leslie, better known by friends and family as LD, and Pat, whose relatives said he was “definitely the boss,” died at the same time last Tuesday at 4:23 p.m. at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson. They were 75 and 78 years old, respectively.

“Not surprisingly, they were with the Lord within the same minute,” their funeral home said. “The hospital staff caring for them, having lost their fight against COVID, said it was too close to be called. They recorded their deaths at exactly the same time.”

But the obit added, “Those of us who know them know that Mom went first and said,‘ LD, it’s time to go! “”

Their story is both romantic and tragic, as more than 9,000 Michiganders have died in the epidemic since March and more than 350,000 people have had the virus, including Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, who is on a ventilator during a hospital treatment a week.

Vaccine is expected to be available in the state by the end of the month.

But for many it is too late.

One of the couple’s daughters, Joanna Sisk, said her parents probably got the virus while eating in restaurants. Sisk said they wished they had stayed home, but her mother and father didn’t feel like she was living all the time allied.

However, Sisk said that after they got sick, they regretted not being more careful.

They went to the hospital together, Sisk said, and a week later they “went to heaven together.”

“People need to worry, and they need to worry and take it seriously,” Sisk said of the coronavirus. “It’s not hard when you have to run to Meijer to put on a mask and do the necessary things. I don’t want another family to experience what our family had to go through.”

On Thursday, April 16, 1973, they were married despite – or perhaps because of, “polar opposites,” according to the obit. LD was a truck driver and Pat was a nurse. LD was “fun.” Pat “wasn’t stupid.”

They first met at Julie’s Bar & Grill in Jackson and have loved dancing there ever since.

A veteran of U.S. Navy Reserves and a member of the Lions Club, LD has towed a variety of things over a lifetime, including asphalt and cheesecakes. He retired from Hendrickson Trucking, but according to his family, his real specialty was making a famous strawberry wax for chili cooking.

“He had more friends than anyone could have counted, and he loved them all very much,” the family said. His favorite – and disrespectful expressions – were, “Colder than a well-digging donkey!” and “It’s too far from your heart to kill!”

Pat worked at Foote Allegiance Hospital for 35 years as a registered nurse in the operating room. After his retirement, he kept in touch with his colleagues. He had best friends with his sisters, sister-in-law, and daughters.

In the summer, the couple organized family pool parties. Relatives said Pat “made too much food.”

They enjoyed driving their 59 Corvette to car shows and meeting their family and friends, and at the end of the summer they took a family canoe trip every year in Evart. Retirees were happy to watch their grandchildren grow up.

They babysit their great-grandchildren every Tuesday.

Read more:

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available until December 12 in Michigan

Napoleon Wayne County Sheriff on the ventilator during the COVID-19 fight

LD’s brother, Claud “Stan” McWaters Jr.; and Pat’s brothers, Sandy Hixon, Jerry (Gaye) Sipes, Sonny (Erline) Sipes, and Sherry (Al) Hedrick; and brother-in-law, Phil Hendricks Sr.

Another girl, Susan Brewer, lives together; three grandchildren, Chelsea Loker, Keaton Brewer, and Erika (Ben) Rickman; six great-grandchildren, Maxx, Mia, Arbor, Lyla, Emma and Nola; several nieces.

The couple was cremated. The service is said in the spring or summer, the family says.

The measures are provided by the Desnoyer Funeral Institute. Instead of flowers, the family would appreciate the Human Society or the U.S. Disaster Relief Fund or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

One more thing, so their story doesn’t end in a completely sad remark.

Pat may have been the “boss,” but LD was the “king of a liner.” So, let’s have the last word about his wife, at least the way his kids remember her: He said she was “the most beautiful woman ever” – adding, “Boy, did you look good in warm pants and go -Go boots! “

Contact Frank Witsil at 313-222-5022 or [email protected] If you have a family member or close friend who died of COVID-19 and would like to share your story, please visit our memorial wall and select “Share Story”.