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Springfield woman urges community to take precautions to stop COVID-19 spread after father dies

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 10:34 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Springfield woman is sharing the story of her loved one who died over the weekend from COVID-19.

Warren Findley is the 44th person to die from coronavirus in Greene County.

His daughter, Shelley Findley Thornton said that he’s more than just a number or statistic. She is speaking out, hoping her father’s death will have an impact on the Ozarks.

“He was such a special guy and he touched so many lives,” she said.

Warren Findley grew up in the Ozarks.

“He’s a southwest Missouri guy, super patriotic, super conservative, very kind, recklessly generous,” said Findley Thornton.

She explained that he was concerned about the affects the pandemic restrictions ordered by Springfield had on small businesses and the economy.

“He believed, rightly that, this is being politicized and used as a weapon by all sides, I think. He just didn’t believe it was as bad as it is,” she said.

She said that he took precautions, wore a mask and followed city guidelines.

“He was in his 70′s but he was still working full time. He was playing with his grand kids. He was teaching Sunday school. We could not get him to slow down,” she said.

That changed a week ago.

“Monday he felt bad enough that he went to the emergency room and by Friday he was gone,” she said.

Findley Thornton said that her father wasn’t mistaken often but when he was, she said that he admitted it.

“He said I can see how people are dying from this. He said, I didn’t realize it could be quite this bad. My fear in sharing this was that we would make him a lightning rod for more dissension in the community, that people would see this and somehow be frustrated with him. But I also am comforted knowing that he did take time this past week to try to share the seriousness of this virus,” she explained.

She wants her father to be remembered for his life, not his death.

“I think he would say maybe we save a life today,” she said. I think he spent his whole life helping people. I think he spent his whole life loving people. Maybe today, the way that we love people is by talking about him."

She is urging the community to wear mask, practice social distancing and take to take the COVID-19 virus seriously.

“I believe that this could be a season if we work together. If we could commit to making these small changes to protect one another and to protect the people who are most vulnerable right now maybe all of us make it to that next season, you know,” said Findley Thornton.

If you feel the slightest bit sick or have any symptoms you can get a virtual visit with a doctor for free.

Click here for more information.

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