Worcester father and son die of complications from COVID-19

WORCESTER, Mass. — A family in Worcester is mourning the deaths of a father and son at the same time, from complications of COVID-19.

83-year-old William Parretti and his son, 57-year-old Robert Parretti, who were both veterans, lived together in their Worcester house.

“Everything happened pretty fast, it was pretty surreal. He was the healthiest 83-year-old I knew,” said John Parretti, who lost his relatives; William was his grandfather and Robert, his uncle.

The father and son died just two days apart.

On Easter Sunday, William Parretti began experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

Both father and son ended up at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, both struggling to stay alive, just one floor apart.

“They were both on the (ventilator) at the same time," said John Parretti.

Robert called his only son Zach, and William called his grandson.

“He would say hello to my mother and my grandmother for us, and they would be there waiting,” said John Parretti.

The father and son part of a proud military family, both served our country.

“He was in the Army as well as his 4 brothers. They all served in the military,” said John Parretti of his grandfather.

Robert spent his early 20s in the Air Force as an airlift maintenance specialist on C-130′s.

“He was stationed in Hawaii, Arizona," said John Parretti.

The family said goodbye through phone calls.

“Dr. Rakhi not only stayed and prayed with our grandfather during his last rights, also with her personal cellphone, made sure we could say our final goodbyes to him,” said Parretti.

He said it’s the memories that will keep them strong.

“He had a love for Celine Dion,” said John Parretti.

The father and son were buried on the same day.

John Parretti said there were so many people that wanted to be there, but they were turned away, because of the pandemic, another sad reality of the coronavirus outbreak.

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