John W. Kolditz passed away of COVID-19 on April 3, 2020. He was 85 years old. Kolditz was the first Franklin County death attributed to COVID-19, and the first resident of Grand View Health Center in Washington MO to die of the virus. John had just returned to Grandview Nursing Home in Washington MO on March 21 to recover after having surgery on one of his legs that had been broken in a recent fall. He was showing clear symptoms of COVID-19 by March 26, at which point it was spreading around the nursing home. It’s unclear if he caught the novel coronavirus in the emergency room, at the hospital, or in the nursing home.

John’s family was able to gather outside the window at Grand Manor to wave, and talk with him on the phone until his breathing became too difficult. They passed messages to him through the staff, but he was soon unable to respond. A nurse stayed with him and held his hand in his final hours and moments, which brought his wife of 63 years much comfort.

John Kolditz served in the Airforce National Guard before marrying Minnie, the love of his life. He worked as a polymer engineer in Alton Illinois for most of his life. He proudly held the patent on a plastic material used in brake fluid reservoirs. John raised five children with Minnie, and loved taking the family on camping trips where he’d take lots of family photos. He is remembered as being a supportive husband, a loving father, and a great friend.

John W. Kolditz is missed deeply by his wife, his children, his large extended family, and those who were fortunate enough to know him.

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