Family loses parents to COVID-19

Sep. 25—GEORGETOWN — Within days of each other, a wife and husband of Georgetown died from COVID-19.

Melissa "Missy" Williams, 54, died Sept. 17 at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville and her husband, Dale, 52, died Sept. 20 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

"It's crazy," said son Justin Souders of Springfield, Mo.

He said his mother had other medical issues, too.

"It's a real thing. It took my parents," Souders said of COVID-19. He had a positive case earlier this year, too.

Melissa also had lost her mother to COVID-19 in February.

Souders is one of the Williams' children left behind, who also include Kayla Fox of Attica, Ind., Kyla Miethe, Leah Williams and Hope Johnson, all of Danville, and five grandchildren.

Souders said his parents were very loving and supportive of their children. Dale was his stepdad and raised Souders as his own, Souders said.

His mom also would work a couple jobs to keep food on the table.

"I was spoiled," he said.

Souders said the family has appreciated the outpouring of support from the Georgetown community.

"That's wonderful," he said of the support. "That's really cool what they are doing. I'm grateful for that."

Souders said he would come up to Illinois to visit.

"My mom and dad knew a lot of people," he said.

A benefit for the family is being planned for Oct. 3 at Kal's Roadhouse Bar & Grill.

Karen Thompson of Georgetown, who had been a friend of Melissa's for more than 40 years, said a lot of people knew Melissa when she worked for years at the Georgetown gas station.

"Everybody knew and loved her," Thompson said.

Thompson said Melissa and Dale had both been on ventilators. There was hope they'd get better.

"These kids are left to do two (cremations) of both their parents in just days apart," Thompson said. "That's a big hit. It's been rough."

The family had a memorial dinner for Dale and Melissa this week in Cayuga, Ind.

A memorial service is expected at a later date.