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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota family is sharing their message after a beloved grandfather became one of the state’s COVID-19 victims.

Scott Melter of Wyoming just retired last year. The 60-year-old, who had COPD, had also beat lung cancer last year. But on Wednesday, COVID-19 took his life.

Krystal Pearl’s Melter daughter, says he leaves behind a large family, and an even larger legacy.

“He always wanted everybody to feel so loved,” Pearl said. “He was the best Papa in the entire world to his grandchildren. He would always take them on special ‘Papa dates.’ He would show up in a suit with flowers.”

She also spoke of his generosity.

“Everything that he owned, he wanted to share with everybody, he wanted people to experience,” Pearl said. “He loved vacationing, he loved bringing people on vacations so they could experience things.”

And that’s exactly what he did early last month. The family traveled to Mexico as word of COVID-19 started to spread.

“We had even talked about it on vacation, you know. He had said, ‘Yeah, you know, it’s not going to be good if somebody like me gets it,'” Pearl said.

So after the trip, Melter and his beloved wife of 35 years left their Ridgeland, South Carolina winter home to come back to Minnesota.

“I had said, you know, ‘I want you here so that we can just keep you home and away from everything and we can help you out,'” Pearl said.

It was on the drive to what they thought was safety that they realized Melter was in danger.

“He just had said he was just kind of tired, and he wasn’t feeling real well. He actually was like, ‘I’m not overly concerned, I don’t think it’s COVID because, like, the symptoms that I’m having don’t really line up with what they’re saying,’ but then obviously it progressed pretty quickly after that,” Pearl said.

Melter was admitted to M Health Fairview in Wyoming on March 25. That would be the last day he would ever see his wife. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was put in isolation at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul.

“We were able to have one person be with him when we knew that he wasn’t going to get better, so that was my brother,” Pearl said. “We decided as a family that he should go because I was just on the trip with him. I’m so grateful that my brother, that they allowed him to be there and to FaceTime us so we could say our goodbyes. It was special.”

Now, Pearl hopes that anyone who hears her father’s story does not feel fear, but instead, peace.

“There is a lot of good happening, and there’s a lot of light being spread, and a lot of love being spread, and that’s what my dad would want,” Pearl said. “He would want people to know God’s got this, you know, we’re going to be OK.”

Melter’s wife, Treva, is now alone in quarantine, but says she feels lots of love through FaceTime. The family has decided to wait and hold a celebration of life for Melter sometime in the future.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield