Vaccinated woman’s family blames her death on the unvaccinated in her obituary

Candace Ayers' obituary, as seen on Sept. 17, 2021.
Candace Ayers' obituary, as seen on Sept. 17, 2021. (dignitymemorial.com)

An Illinois woman’s family has blamed her death on the nation’s unvaccinated in her obituary.

The obituary begins like this: Candace Cay (Kruger) Ayers, 66, of Springfield, passed away on Sept. 3, 2021 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL. She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 others infected with COVID-19. She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life.”

A report says Ayers was fully vaccinated in the spring but she got diagnosed with COVID-19 on July 28, according to her family.

Ayers is survived by her husband, Terry, of nearly 43 years, her children Marc and Amanda as well her three grandchildren.

The full obituary text is below:

Springfield, IL-Candace Cay (Kruger) Ayers, 66, of Springfield, passed away on September 3, 2021 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL. She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 others infected with covid-19. She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life.

Candy was born on June 28, 1955 in Mobile, Alabama, the daughter of Thomas and Beverly Kruger. Candy was an Air Force brat and lived a short time in Okinawa, Japan where her father was stationed on a military base with her mother. She married Terry Gene Ayers on October 7, 1978.

Candy graduated from Pawnee High School in 1973. She was an orthodontic assistant for Drs. Sternstein, Bernardy & Groesch for many years before deciding to be a stay-at-home mom to raise her children. After her children were grown, she went back to work for five years at St. John’s Prairie Heart Institute at the Cardiac Cath Lab.

Candy enjoyed most importantly: Her cup of morning coffee. It had to be the very first thing that touched her lips in the morning and there was never a day that there wasn’t a pot brewing. She loved her soap operas and reality tv and has passed that addiction onto her daughter. She also had a fine knack for speaking her mind, a great eye for detail, an amazing ability to organize, and was quite possibly the best mom, wife, and Gagi in the entire world.

She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 43 years, Terry of Springfield; her children Marc (Samantha) Ayers of Springfield, and Amanda Foster and her triplet 5-year-old grandchildren Andie, Daniel, and Charlotte Foster of Springfield who were the loves of her life.

Arrangements are under the direction of Bisch Funeral Home West, Springfield. A private memorial service will be held by immediate family per her last wishes.

Memorials may be made to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation, 8815 Conroy Windermere Rd, Suite 309, Orlando, FL 32835 or to The Humane Society of the United States, Dept. HACDQ100904001, 1255 23rd St NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037 or online at . https://secured.humanesociety.org/page/81880/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=web_topnav_donate

The obituary has been lauded for its courage. The State Journal-Register highlighted a response from U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin:

When I first read Candace Ayer’s obituary in the SJ-R, I was taken by the courage of her family to remind all of us that we are in this pandemic together.

They wrote: “She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 others infected with COVID-19. She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life.”

Your front page story (Sept. 12) about that obituary told a heartwarming story of Candace’s life and the determination of her family to plead with all of us to help spare other families the pain of this tragic loss of life.

This pandemic and the deadly variants the virus will spawn will not be stopped until more Americans are vaccinated.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.