South Jersey community mourning loss of father, daughter after COVID-19 battle

VINELAND, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A South Jersey community is mourning the loss of a father and daughter whose lives were claimed by COVID-19

Sheree Coccaro, 62, who was a 27-year member of the Vineland Public School District, and her father, Charles Scarpa, 89, both recently died from the coronavirus.

"I would tell her, 'I'm so sorry I couldn't help her,'" said Sheree's husband, Peter Coccaro. "She knew I would have been there the whole time. I would have never left her side."

As the Coccaro family was grieving Sheree's loss on Friday, her father died just two days later.

On Thursday, Peter sat in his wife's office at Thomas Wallace Middle School mourning.

"My wife walked out of the house on December the 8th of 2020, and I never saw her again, and there was nothing I could do for her," he said. "Through good times and bad times she was my rock, absolutely."

Her Vineland school family described the huge void.

"It was just that contagious smile that she offered to you every morning, saying, 'good morning' and 'hello and what's going on, how are things,'" said Principal Debra Quinn.

Peter says it hurts, even more, to also lose his father-in-law, who was a volunteer firefighter in Vineland for 25 years.

"He liked keeping to himself, the total opposite of my wife. She liked interacting a lot," said Peter.

The tragic loss of a father and daughter is just another reminder of how ruthless this virus is.

"Tell them you love them because when they're gone, you can't tell them no more," said Peter.
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