Three years after first COVID-19 death in Texas, Waco brothers remember parents who died within days of each other

Moses Resendez and his wife Julia were well known for their volunteer work and involvement in the community
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:41 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Three years ago today, on March 17, 2020, Texas experienced its first COVID-19 death.

This type of loss went on to impact thousands more, including Gabriel Resendez and his four siblings, who lived through the unimaginable in 2020 when both of his parents passed away within days of each other after contracting the virus.

“It’s something I never thought I’d go through,” Gabriel Resendez, one of the Resendez children who lost their parents to COVID-19, told KWTX.

“I felt like my world was tumbling down,” his brother, Moses Resendez. said.

Moses Resendez, a pastor at Templo La Hermosa, and his wife Julia, a homemaker, were well known in Waco for their volunteer work and involvement in the community.

“They were a man and woman of God,” Moses recounts of his late parents. “She was like a mom to everybody. She would welcome you, she would cook for you, they would inspire you just to keep God first.”

Gabriel and Moses Resendez say that love of connecting with others is what caused their father to catch the virus in June of 2020, before spreading it to their mother, too.

“She wouldn’t leave my dad’s side whatsoever,” Moses said. “So she stayed there and made sure my dad was alright and she ended up catching it taking care of my dad.”

As their cases progressed, the couple ended up in the hospital together, spending their final days battling pneumonia and hooked up to ventilators.

“Because of COVID, we weren’t allowed to go into the hospital,” Gabriel told KWTX. “So we were only able to video chat with them.”

The couple passed away just 16 days apart.

Looking back to those devastating moments, the Resendez brothers both say living through this tragedy has renewed their spirituality, and that time is precious.

“God is with you, and everything is gonna be okay as long as you got God,” Moses said.

“Make sure you always say ‘I love you,’ because you never know,” Gabriel said.

To date, just over three thousand people have died from COVID-19 in Central Texas.

The COVID-19 public health emergency is set to end May 11, 2023.