'Wish I Had More Time': Woman Remembers Father Who Died Of COVID At Holyoke Soldiers' Home

Jim Mandeville's daughter Laurie is disappointed that he was not among those honored Thursday at the home’s Memorial Day observance. WBZ-TV's Cheryl Fiandaca reports.

Video Transcript

- COVID-19 outbreaks at the state-run soldiers' homes claimed the lives of dozens of veterans and sparked several investigations, which so far have led to two indictments. On this Memorial Day, many people are looking to get back to normal, but for families of those who died at the homes, there's no going back. Here's WBZ's chief investigator, Cheryl Fiandaca.

CHERYL FIANDACA: James Jim Mandeville fought his last battle at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home.

LAURIE MANDEVILLE BEAUDETTE: He was an awesome dad. He was such an encouragement to me growing up, and we were so close.

CHERYL FIANDACA: Jim was one of 76 veterans who died of COVID-19 at the state-run facility. His daughter, Laurie, says she's disappointed that he was not among those honored Thursday at the home's Memorial Day observance.

LAURIE MANDEVILLE BEAUDETTE: He died in 2020, so the following Memorial Day is 2021. So he should have been included. I don't know who was responsible for the invitations.

CHERYL FIANDACA: Laurie says she doesn't need a ceremony to remember her father. She still talks to him every day. The two had a special relationship, and Laurie was his primary caretaker. She's still holding on to his ashes, not yet ready to say a final goodbye.

LAURIE MANDEVILLE BEAUDETTE: Finding the right time when I can handle that last-- you know, that last piece of letting him go. I'm not going to have the chance to go up there every day and play cards with him. I just wish I had more time.

CHERYL FIANDACA: Cheryl Fiandaca, WBZ News.