John William Kolditz

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.


Armella “Millie” Katherine Chisholm

Armella “Millie” Chisholm died of COVID-19 on April 14th 2020 at Grandview Health Center in Washington MO, sister facility to the elder-care home (Cedarcrest Manor) that she’d worked at many years as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She was 93 years old.

In the post-WWII years Millie married her first husband, Clarence, who she had 10 children with. After his passing, Millie was able to find love again. She was married to Harry Chisholm for about 8 years until his death in 2000.

In her retirement, Millie volunteered with the VFW, attended dances, musicals, family events, and became an avid quilter and crafter (check out her obituary for some pictures of her quilts). She kept a very busy social life, and even when dementia set in, she still enjoyed socializing with other residents and staff.

Millie’s children in the Washington MO area and with their families were very active in visiting her every day at Grandview after dementia caused her to need full time care. Her family doesn’t fault the care facility; as one of her daughters told the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

“It was unimaginable that the staff was able to deliver meals to patients everywhere in the facility, to help feed all of those who needed assistance, and to still attend to their regular needs,” she said. “Added to this was an unprecedented volume of calls from family members asking for updates. No nursing home can be staffed or prepared for such an abrupt change to their entire protocol.”

Armilla “Millie” Chisholm is missed deeply by her large extended family, the staff and other residents at Grandview Manor Nursing Home, and the countless lives she touched volunteering and as her vocation as a nurse.