Wanda Dench, the Arizona grandmother who garnered headlines in 2016 after she accidentally texted a stranger about Thanksgiving and then invited him to her Mesa home anyway, has lost her husband to the coronavirus.
Lonnie Dench died Sunday, days after the couple both contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the contagion.
Jamal Hinton, the teenager who Dench inadvertently invited to dinner (thinking it was her grandson) and who has spent every Thanksgiving since with the family, announced the sad news on Twitter Wednesday.
He said Wanda Dench “told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face so I thank every single one of you guys for that.”
“Also for those asking Wanda is not sick,” he added in a second post.
Dench paid tribute to her late husband in a statement to CBS-5.
“He had the truest heart of love, like no other,” she said. “He did so many acts of kindness that no one ever heard about. He was my hero. And I’m a better person because of him.”
People on Twitter also mourned for the family, whose act of kindness had become a heartwarming annual tradition:
- Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
- Everything you need to know about face masks right now
- How long are asymptomatic carriers contagious?
- What to do if you can’t pay rent now
- How to switch off from work when home is your office
- 8 sleep tips if coronavirus anxiety is keeping you up at night
- How long does coronavirus live in the air?
- The HuffPost guide to working from home
- What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.