Human Interest Twin Brothers Died of COVID 6 Days Apart: 'They Did Everything Together' This week's issue of PEOPLE pays tribute to people whose lives were cut short by COVID-19 By Rachel DeSantis Rachel DeSantis Instagram Twitter Rachel DeSantis is a writer/reporter covering music at PEOPLE. She has held various roles since joining the brand in 2019, and was previously a member of the human interest team. As a music writer, Rachel interviews everyone from rock-and-roll legends to up-and-coming stars for magazine feature stories and digital news stories. Rachel is based in New York City, and previously worked as an entertainment reporter at the New York Daily News after getting her start as an Entertainment Weekly intern. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 17, 2020 09:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Leon and Cleon Boyd. Photo: Kate Mills Photography From playing instruments and making maple syrup together to keeping the ski slopes of Vermont looking their best, identical twins Cleon and Leon Boyd were never far from each other’s side. So when the coronavirus pandemic hit their small town, it wasn’t just one brother who became infected, but both. “They did everything together,” sister-in-law Janet Boyd tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “They even died together.” The Boyd twins, 64, died six days apart of complications from COVID-19 in April; Cleon, who was older by several minutes, died on April 3, while Leon followed on April 9. The brothers were beloved figures in their small valley community in southern Vermont, where they grew up on a farm in Dover alongside four other siblings, raising cows, chickens, pigs and geese. Both men worked as equipment operators for excavating and construction companies, and also as snow groomers at the local Mount Snow ski resort, with Cleon saying in a 2018 promotional clip for the resort that he was “damn proud” of his job. The pandemic has taken the lives of more than 300,000 Americans. “As the year ends, we wanted to pause and remember the loved ones who have died,” writes PEOPLE Editor in Chief Dan Wakeford in this week’s issue. “There is no magazine that has enough pages to pay tribute to all the people whose lives were cut short; so instead we have told the story of one person from each state in America.” For more Lost to COVID tributes, pick up a copy of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here. “They were the guys everybody loved,” Vermont State Rep. Laura Sibilia, who met the twins while working locally as a waitress, tells PEOPLE. “They were friendly. They always had smiles on their faces… They were the best. Really the best.” She adds that they loved to show off their skills as musicians, too, and would often perform at a local pub, singing old-time folk music and playing instruments. 'Happy' 9-Year-Old Girl Who Died of COVID Wanted to 'Touch a Lot of Hearts,' Mom Says Relatives are unsure just how the brothers contracted the coronavirus, but believe it may have been in March at the family sugar house, where they’d meet to boil tree sap to make maple syrup. RELATED VIDEO: Comedian Dies After Filming Video About His Experience with COVID from Hospital Bed: 'This Is No Joke' “Nine in the family got it, but got better,” Janet Boyd says. “But they got sick from it and kept getting worse.” Boyd says that the twins were “figureheads” in the community as well as in their family, and that a local trail will be named after them. In addition to their siblings and extended family, Cleon left behind sons Christopher and Zachari and daughters Naomi and Meghan, while Leon is survived by wife Pamela, son Justin and daughter Jenny. Reporting by SUSAN KEATING 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 the 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.