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Mississippi couple’s death from coronavirus came as they held each other’s hands

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The coronavirus has claimed the lives of a Mississippi husband and wife who died minutes apart in a hospital room as they held each other’s hands.

Jerry and Frances Williamson were 72 when they succumbed to the virus Wednesday. They had fallen ill from the virus during a cruise. They had been married for more than 50 years.

“Their faith was central to their lives,” Rick Clark, the pastor at North Long Beach Baptist Church in Long Beach, Miss., told Fox News Monday.

Frances and Jerry Williamson of Long Beach, Miss.
(Riemann Family Funeral Home)

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Clark spoke earlier Monday at a private service for the couple that was livestreamed on Facebook from the Riemann Family Funeral Home in Long Beach, where the couple lived.

“I was quoting the Bible,” Clark recounted. “I said they were no longer suffering; they were no longer in pain. They were now with the Lord for their eternal rest.”

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Jerry Williamson served in the U.S. Navy and retired from his supervisor job at the U.S. Naval Home in Gulfport, according to their obituary. He had survived lung cancer.

She retired from her position as a phlebotomist after many years.

They had eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

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It wasn’t unusual for Williamson and his wife to fall ill after a cruise, but this time was different, Clark said.

The couple both tested positive for COVID-19 and wound up on ventilators at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport.

At the hospital, as they clasped hands, they were each pronounced dead within six minutes of each other.

In Mississippi, 1,738 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 51 have died.

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“It definitely has taken its toll on those that have it and those that don’t,” Pastor Clark said.

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