Couple married for 76 years die from COVID-19 two weeks apart

A 100-year-old couple, married since 1944, died from the coronavirus (COVID-19) two weeks apart in the United States.

Bill and Jill Calderone moved to a Rhode Island care facility, according to their son, Ron, who told PEOPLE the two were in their best health in years.

The family’s joy was short-lived after the virus was detected at the home some weeks later, first infecting Bill and then his wife of 76 years.

Ron told PEOPLE, “We finally got to see them over FaceTime and it was awful. I never thought I’d see my parents so debilitated, my father could barely answer me on the phone. I think all they wanted to do was go home.”

Bill, a military man, died on May 6 from COVID-19 complications. Jill, a former real estate agent, breathed her last breath in May 20.

“There’s a despair you feel that comes from not being able to see these two people that I’ve lived with for 72 years,” Ron said. “They’ve been my entire life.”