Veteran dies from COVID-19 at Thomson-Hood, family shares his story

Published: Oct. 25, 2020 at 1:51 PM EDT
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WILMORE, Ky. (WKYT) - Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the Commonwealth, including in Jessamine County.

Many of the positive cases there are coming from Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, a long-term care facility in Wilmore that’s specialized for veterans.

Bobby Rorer was a World War II veteran, husband, stepdad and one of the seven Thomson-Hood Veterans Center residents who have died from COVID-19 complications.

“Mom called him one day and he said ‘hi,’ then after that he would just mumble,” says Bobby’s stepson Ken Jorette.

Ken says his stepdad Bobby was diagnosed with COVID-19 a few weeks ago. At first, he was doing alright. Then he took a turn, and without his wife and Ken’s mother able to see him.

“Towards the end he was actually calling her name, which is very sad and people can’t be with their loved ones with is one of the worst things I can imagine at the end,” Ken says.

December 8th, 1941, the day after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Bobby announced he was joining the Army. He was 16 years old, so young his mother had to sign for him to enter the service. During his time in the Army he traveled around the world.

To Ken, he was a stepdad whonever met a stranger.

“He used to go to Walmart just about every day and sit there and talk to people and I think they tried to give him a job as a greeter, and he said no that’s a schedule and I’m not going to do it,” Jorette says.

Now Bobby’s family has to adjust to life without him.

“Thanks for everything you’ve done over the years and for always being there, and we’re gonna miss you,” Ken says.

As of Saturday, there were two new positive cases for residents of Thomson-Hood. This brings the total number of positives of people living there to 73. Twelve residents have recovered.

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