SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The reality of how deadly COVID-19 can be sets in for many in the Marshallese community as headstones are finally being placed on graves.
Fresh dirt plots fill Friendship Cemetery in Springdale.
It’s the final resting place for many Marshallese who’ve died from the coronavirus.
If you have forgotten how impactful it is this is it, you just look at the graves and it tells you this thing is large.MELISA LAELAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARKANSAS COALITION OF MARSHALLESE
Faith Laukon lost her father, Adelbert, on July 20, 2020.
He was in the hospital for over a month and a half before he died from COVID-19 complications.
“He was at every birthday party, every funeral, at every community event,” she said. “My dad was full of love.”
Faith said her father was a hard working man who cared deeply about his community.
Adelbert was a church pastor for a very long time.
After he retired, Faith said he became the chaplain for Tyson Foods.
“Everywhere he went, every person he encountered, he poured love into them,” she said. “He loved to make people laugh.”
Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese Executive Director Melisa Laelan said she knew Adelbert well.
“He has a very very special connection to me,” Laelan said. “I’m related to him, we’re in the same clan.”
Adelbert leaves behind seven children and a loving wife of 48 years.
My fondest memory of my dad was just seeing how much he loved my mom.FAITH LAUKON, LOST HER FATHER TO COVID-19
Although he’s gone, the people closest to him say his legacy will live on forever.
He was just a beautiful person inside and out.FAITH LAUKON, LOST HER FATHER TO COVID-19