coronavirus

Long Beach Mayor Loses Stepfather to COVID-19 One Day After Mother's Memorial

Garcia's mother, Gaby O'Donnell, a longtime health care worker, died late last month due to complications from the coronavirus at the age of 61. The couple had been married for 27 years

Courtesy of family

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced Monday that his stepfather died due to complications from COVID-19, one day after the family held a memorial service for the mayor's mother.

"We are incredibly saddened to share that my stepfather, Greg O'Donnell, has passed away due to complications from COVID-19,'' Garcia said in a statement. "It's a heartbreaking loss for our entire family, especially for my brother Jake.''

"For her to have contracted Covid as well as my step dad -- it was devastating for us. But like many families, we didn't think it would get to this point," Mayor Robert Garcia said. Kathy Vara reports for NBC LA at 6 p.m. Friday July 31, 2020.

O'Donnell, who died Sunday at 58, "was a kind and good-hearted man, an amazing father and grandfather, and the best husband our mom could have ever hoped for. He worked hard for his family and started his own successful small business as a contractor with his brothers,'' Garcia said.

Garcia's mother, Gaby O'Donnell, a longtime health care worker, died late last month due to complications from the coronavirus at the age of 61. The couple had been married for 27 years.

The mayor and his brother thanked the nurses and doctors who cared for O'Donnell, and Garcia shared a post by his sibling.

Courtesy of family

"As my family is just broken with the loss of my parents -- I find comfort in knowing that they are together again -- free of any pain or suffering,'' Jake posted.

Garcia announced in July that his mother and stepfather had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and placed on ventilators. Garcia tested negative, saying he had limited contact with his mother and stepfather during the pandemic due to social-distancing requirements.

"My brother and I are heartbroken,'' Garcia said in a statement following his mother's death. "Our mother was the kindest and most compassionate person we've ever known. She immigrated from Peru to the United States in search of the American Dream, and she found it. She became a healthcare worker, caring for thousands of patients over her career and assisting nurses and doctors who she loved dearly. She loved to help people and lived a happy and joyous life.''

Mayor Robert Garcia spoke publicly about his mother,'s memory. She was a healthcare worker who died of complications from COVID-19. John Cádiz Klemack reports for NBC LA at 11 p.m. Thursday July 30, 2020.
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