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COVID-19 Impacts Final Wishes

For one Tri-State woman, she had to make an unexpected, last minute decision when her husband passed away during the pandemic. While it wasn't from the virus, the health crisis still found a way to complicate things.

Posted: Sep 8, 2020 7:06 PM
Updated: Sep 8, 2020 10:34 PM

We know COVID-19 has canceled plans for each and everyone of us, but what if those plans were made years ago with no chance of rescheduling?

For one Tri-State woman, she had to make an unexpected, last minute decision when her husband passed away during the pandemic.

While it wasn't from the virus, the health crisis still found a way to complicate things.

"All the comments I got back after his death were all 'I wasn't sure when I went in, but he was my all time favorite teacher," says Carol Rogers, Robert's wife.

Carol Rogers of Newburgh is talking about the memories; family, friends, and the community left after her husbands passing in May from a heart condition.

94-year-old Robert Rogers was a World War Two Veteran, an avid history buff, and a longtime teacher.

"I believe it was like 54 or 56 years that he taught here in Evansville," says Rogers. "Bosse was his last school that he retired from."

56 years of marriage too.

A life full of love and adventure.

But after the death of their daughter nearly a decade ago, a discussion was had.

Robert making his own plans then to donate his body to science.

Paperwork was ready to go to Indiana University's Medical School, until this year when COVID-19 struck.

"When we knew his death was imminent, I had someone call to make sure everything was in order and had all the papers filled out as they should be," says Rogers. "When they called, they found the whole program had been suspended. What do we do next? And when I had mentioned that to the Hospice worker, that's when she put the little sticky note with a telephone number and said 'you might want to call this number."

That call was for organ and tissue donation.

While his physical remains wouldn't go to medical school to educate future physicians and scientists, Robert's donated tissue could help other people; as many as 75 strangers in need.

The pandemic taking a lot away from this family, but not taking away Robert's lasting legacy of helping others.

"That for us, my son David and me, that was very comforting knowing that someone else could benefit," says Rogers.

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