Family remembers 94-year-old Sanger woman who died 5 days after contracting COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A beloved "mother" of the Sanger community gone too soon.

Jean Nicholson, 94, was full of spunk and still healthy despite her age. But the former Mother of the Year passed away just five days after contracting COVID-19.

Her son, Tom Nicholson, still taken aback by her departure.

"We joked about a couple of things, and saying goodnight and I love you," he said. "She said she was surrounded by angels. It was humbling because she was in fact surrounded by angels, ready to take her to her final home."

Tom and his wife -- who has been undergoing chemotherapy -- lived with Mrs. Jean. They were serious about keeping a sterile, clean environment at home.

So in preparation for a safe Thanksgiving, it was a requirement for all visiting family to get tested.

But the results for everyone in the household came back positive right before the holiday.

"Before that, she was healthy, she was walking, she was doing laps around the backyard with her walker, mom never took medication," Tom said. "Vitamin D was all she had."

"We hear so many stories about people that don't get to be with their loved ones - they are segregated from them," says Bob Nicholson. "Those stories are heartbreaking."

The family was heartbroken to not have the burial she deserved or even a proper birthday this year.

Reflecting over the last couple of weeks - Tom says he learned three lessons.

"Number one, wear a mask, sanitize, be diligent," he said. "Because it is here, it's in the Valley and it's in our community - this wretched virus."

Two, love on your loved ones, and three, tell them you love them.
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