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San Diego World War II veteran dies 6 months after surviving COVID-19

Posted at 4:00 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 22:47:48-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local World War II veteran who survived a battle with COVID-19 has died.

In May, ABC 10News was there when loved ones, including daughter Lisa Hoover, welcomed home Ben Pack after a month in the ICU fighting COVID-19. He was among the oldest known survivors of the virus.

"It was one of the most emotional moments of my life," said Hoover.

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At the age of 94, Pack had lived through a lifetime of survival stories. The World War II veteran survived tuberculosis, cancer, and congestive heart failure, but when he contracted COVID-19, his family prepared for the worst.

"There were days we thought it was over. We literally had our goodbye calls, and it was heartbreaking. What got him through this was his will to live and a fighting spirit, I guess," said Hoover.

Even with that spirit, his battle with coronavirus took a toll. He lost 35 pounds and remained weak. In mid-October, while in his independent living apartment in Rancho San Diego, he fell and broke his hip. Surgery followed. He lost his appetite, grew even weaker, and on Wednesday, he passed away.

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"His birthday was November 10. He was 95, and he passed away on November 11, which was Veterans Day," said Hoover.

Hoover says the timing of her father's death gave her family some solace.

"All felt it was a monumental day for him to pass. He felt so strong about serving. He lived a long, vibrant life. We are saddened about his loss, but good about the timing of it," said Hoover.

Pack will be buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, his family is asking for donations to the Wounded Warrior Project.