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‘Such a kind person:’ Family remembers man who died of COVID-19 complications

Data pix.

GRAFTON -- In Ozaukee County, the death toll remains at three in connection to a COVID-19 outbreak at a long-term care facility.

Kenneth and Elaine Going

One of those victims, an 87-year-old man, lived at Village Pointe Commons with his wife. Married for 58 years, Kenneth and Elaine Going truly did not know distance when it came to love.

Kenneth was a sailor during the Korean war and a longtime pharmacist. To his wife, he was her loving husband and father of their three children -- including their son, Mark Going.

"He was such a kind person. I'd say he was always looking out for other people," Mark said.

Accustomed to always caring for others in the medical world, that role would shift as Kenneth aged.

Kenneth Going

"He had advanced Alzheimer's, but the Alzheimer's never took the humanity out of him," said Mark. "He'd always open the car door for my mom. He'd always be so gracious."

Age took Kenneth and Elaine together to Village Point Commons. His condition later placed him in special care, where he lived a floor below her.

"She was always trying to look out for him and made sure that he always had his hair brushed, and helping as far as if they needed help getting dressed or coming down to eat with him," Mark said. "She really took on that role as caretaker until the very end."

Kenneth's death was one of three in the memory care unit at Village Pointe Commons. 91-year-old Robert Blackbird and 82-year-old Gail Kutz, along with Going, all died in connection to COVID-19.

(L-R) Kenneth Going, Robert Blackbird and Gail Kutz

"I think we knew once he had those symptoms it was not going to be long before he would pass away," said Mark.

13 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at Village Pointe Commons. It prompted lockdowns at all long-term care facilities in Ozaukee and Washington Counties.

Health officials believe caretakers traveling between facilities may have brought the virus in.

Kenneth Going

"It's just unfortunate it happened that way," Mark said. "But again, they were there, the hospice people were there to the end and I really appreciate that and the whole family really appreciates what they did for my father."

Kenneth and Elaine made a promise to be true in sickness and in health -- a vow of love that will last even after death does them part.

Kenneth did have Alzheimer's and was showing signs of age, but his family believed he may have lived several more years had he not contracted COVID-19. That being said, they are deeply thankful to the caretakers who were by his side.

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