MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman from southwest Minnesota was known for her strong faith and love of family. Elaine McDeid died at the age of 83 in April from COVID-19. In WCCO’s Faces of COVID series, we sat down with her son who looked back on his mom’s difficult last few days.

Considered a pillar of her Lutheran church, Elaine McDeid and her husband raised five children in Jackson, Minnesota.

“She was a very spiritual woman. Very religious lady,” her son, Michael McDeid, said.

Robert worked by day at the local co-op and Elaine worked many different jobs, often picking up shifts at night. After their father’s passing, Michael convinced his mom to move closer and into Mount Olivet Careview Home in Minneapolis.

“She loved it there. The staff was great to her,” McDeid said.

For more than three years he’d visit a couple of times a week. Until, COVID-19 kept them apart.

“They said come and see your mom today because starting tomorrow we will be locking things down and there won’t be any visitors allowed,” McDeid said.

Weeks later, Michael’s mom tested positive.

“Hard stuff, because I wanted to be with her and couldn’t be,” he said.

Instead, he joined her by video as Elaine’s condition declined. A chaplain sat by her side on that Thursday to offer final prayers.

“Friday, she passed,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

Just a few weeks ago, Michael played his mother’s favorite hymns at a small service in Jackson. The video was then sent to the people that, again, COVID kept away. Again, the separation Michael says is a constant reminder of the reality of the virus.

“Don’t take it lightly,” McDeid said.

He now finds peace believing his mother is where she was meant to be.

“I’m sure she’s smiling where she’s at now and free of pain, and she’s with my dad and I’m very glad about that,” he said.

Elaine McDeid is one of 13 people who passed away from COVID-19 inside Mount Olivet Careview Home. Michael McDeid said they were all real heroes in how they handled such a hard situation and they remained with their mother throughout.

Residents there are now tested weekly. The last positive test came a few weeks ago. A spokesperson told us it’s been a difficult time but they have made great strides in the fight against the virus.

Liz Collin