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Remembering mother and daughter Carolina Tovar and Leticia Ramirez

Carolina Tovar and her daughter Leticia Ramirez. Carol Padilla

July 16, 2020

Carolina Tovar, 86, and her daughter Leticia Ramirez, 54, lived minutes apart from each other in Rowland Heights, a community in the San Gabriel Valley. Everyone in the family knew Ms. Ramirez was her mother’s go-to: She drove her to dialysis treatments, shopping and any place else she needed to go. They were together so often that Ms. Ramirez’s seven brothers and sisters liked to joke that the two were best friends.

But the mother and daughter were miles apart at different hospitals when they died of Covid-19 on April 3.

Ms. Ramirez became ill first, in late March, followed soon after by her mother. Ms. Tovar instructed her family not to put her on a ventilator if her condition worsened. Her husband, Antonio, had died last January, months before their 70th anniversary. “Just let me go,” she said to one of her children. “The love of my life is gone. My kids are fine.”

On a FaceTime call with her family, she blew kisses and blessed each one of them. They watched as she drew her last breath, with her youngest daughter, Gina, at her bedside.

A few hours later in another hospital in Los Angeles County, Ms. Ramirez would also die of Covid-19. Ms. Ramirez, who worked as a receptionist at a real estate firm, leaves behind a husband and three children.

The double loss for the exceptionally close family has been overwhelming, all the more so because the family had expected Ms. Ramirez to recover. “We’re very numb, heartbroken, sad, lost, everything,” Edward Tovar, one of Ms. Tovar’s 21 grandchildren, said.

“We’re going to miss them,” Carol Padilla, Ms. Ramirez’s niece, added. “We’re going to continue keeping the family together no matter what.”

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