As COVID-19 restrictions ease, Cedar City couple married 67 years can visit in person again

CEDAR CITY — After a yearlong wait, Clyde Turner of Cedar City is once again able to visit his wife in person, thanks to recent changes in COVID-19 visitation restrictions.

Marion and Clyde Turner at Cedar Health and Rehabilitation care center, Cedar City, Utah, March 18, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Turners, who are both 88 and have been married for more than 67 years, say although this past year has been among the hardest they’ve ever had to endure, it has included many positive memories as well.

As previously reported by Cedar City News, Marion Turner became a patient at Cedar Health and Rehabilitation last spring, right before COVID-19 shut things down. 

Due to the restrictions associated with the pandemic, the once inseparable couple were no longer able to touch each other nor even be in the same room; they had to communicate through the window, with Clyde peering in just outside Marion’s room at the care center.

Then at long last, on March 16, one day after his wife’s 88th birthday, Clyde Turner was finally able to visit his wife once again, in person, inside her room. Two days later, Cedar City News spoke with both of the Turners inside that same room.

“I’m really proud of her because she’s been here over a year, and she’s hung in there with the virus and the whole situation. She’s just been wonderful,” Clyde Turner said.

Added Marion: “I’m doing okay. I have my good days and my bad days. This is a pretty good day.”

Clyde says his wife has been doing well mentally, although physically “she’s had her ups and downs.”

Clyde Turner reads a birthday card from his wife Marion at the Cedar Health and Rehabilitation care center, Cedar City, Utah, January 2021 | Photo courtesy of Aimee Charlton, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Her biggest problem is she has a balance problem,” he explained. ”She’s fallen several times, and she goes back when she falls.”

Aimee Charlton, who is one of the Turners’ daughters, said there were a few special occasions in recent months where Marion was allowed to be brought outside the facility, under the supervision of care center staff.

“We found out we could take her out of the facility up to 12 days a year,” Charlton said. “But with the pandemic, it meant that each time we took her out, she would have to be further quarantined upon her return for 14 days.”

“We decided it was worth it, and so we brought her home for Thanksgiving, which was the first time she’d been home since last March.”

Marion also spent time at home over Christmas, Charlton added.

“We took my parents to the Christmas tree lighting on Main Street and enjoyed as much time together as we could before we had to take her back to the center.”

Then, in January, as Clyde was about to turn 88, the couple went out to eat at Milt’s, one of their favorite restaurants.

In early February, Marion was able to attend the funeral of her older sister Loraine Sevy Allen in Panguitch.

Then, in early March, members of the Turner family rented a conference room at the Hampton Inn in Cedar City and held a family bash in honor of Marion’s 88th birthday. The party included a live band that played several of Marion’s favorite songs from yesteryear.

“It was a great party,” Clyde said. “All the grandkids danced and the band was really good. They  played songs that my wife liked.”

Aimee Charlton and mother Marion Turner at the funeral of Marion’s sister Loraine Sevy Allen, Panguitch, Utah, Feb. 2, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Aimee Charlton, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Basically since November we’ve had her out every month,” Charlton said. “It has made a big difference in her happiness and well-being.”

Shortly after Marion’s birthday party, Clyde got word that the care center would be easing the visitor restrictions, allowing him to once again visit his wife in her room.

“Both of my parents have been fully vaccinated,” Charlton noted. “We found out that this stage of visitation would allow him to come for one hour, three times a week, by appointment.”

“We are hoping it will continue to get more and more open as vaccines are further distributed and more time passes,” Charlton added. “We have definitely made the most of this last year and we look forward to more visits and more family events that we can bring her home for.”

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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