Couple Married for 50 Years Die of COVID-19 on Same Day: Mom 'Wasn't Going to Live Without My Daddy'
Wilma Gail Bowen, 70, and her husband Willard Daniel Bowen, 73, died on Thanksgiving after 50 years of marriage
A family in Georgia is in mourning after losing two parents to the novel coronavirus on the same day.
The couple, who had known each other since high school, died just hours apart while hospitalized for COVID-19, their daughter Karen Bowen Kirby told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bowen Kirby said her mother "gave up" after it became apparent that her father was going to die, telling the publication, "She wasn't going to live without my daddy."
The matriarch, who went by Gail, worked as a licensed practical nurse for many years before joining the Paulding County School System upon her retirement, her obituary stated. She was working as a nurse at Hiram Elementary School when she died.
"She loved her babies," Bowen Kirby told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "She would do anything to make sure they were taken care of."
In a letter sent to parents on Saturday, the school district said that Hiram Elementary School would be closed through Wednesday and switched to remote learning after COVID-19 infections over the Thanksgiving break caused "a large number" of staff and student quarantines, the outlet reported.
RELATED VIDEO: Man Who Said Goodbye to Dying Dad Over FaceTime Donates iPads to Hospitals to Help Others
Kirby Bowen said she does not know where either of her parents contracted coronavirus. According to her, the family had just buried her grandmother, who also had COVID-19, on Nov. 11.
A representative for the Paulding County School District did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
In his obituary, Willard was described as a retired foreman for the Austell Box Board who has a passion for "antique junk." Like his wife, he was a member of Poplar Springs Baptist Church.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.