Coronavirus: Long Beach Mayor Garcias stepfather dies, 2 weeks after leaders mother passed away – Long Beach Press Telegram

Greg and Gabriella ODonnell Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcias stepfather, Greg ODonnell has died from coronavirus complications two weeks after the mayors mother passed away the citys elected leader announced Monday, Aug. 10. (Courtesy of Mayor Robert Garcia)

(From left) Mayor Robert Garcia, Gabriella ODonnell and Greg ODonnell. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcias stepfather, Greg ODonnell has died from coronavirus complications two weeks after the mayors mother passed away the citys elected leader announced Monday, Aug. 10. (Courtesy of Mayor Robert Garcia)

Greg and Gabriella ODonnell Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcias stepfather, Greg ODonnell has died from coronavirus complications two weeks after the mayors mother passed away the citys elected leader announced Monday, Aug. 10. (Courtesy of Mayor Robert Garcia)

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Greg and Gabriella ODonnell Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcias stepfather, Greg ODonnell has died from coronavirus complications two weeks after the mayors mother passed away the citys elected leader announced Monday, Aug. 10. (Courtesy of Mayor Robert Garcia)

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcias stepfather, Greg ODonnell, has died from coronavirus complications, the citys elected leader announced Monday, Aug. 10 two weeks after the mayors mother passed away.

Its a heartbreaking loss for our entire family, especially for my brother, Jake, Garcia said in a written statement. Greg was a kind and good-hearted man, an amazing father and grandfather, and the best husband our mom could have ever hoped for.

Garcia announced on July 13 that both his mother, Gabriella ODonnell, and his stepfather were in the hospital with the coronavirus and on ventilators.

The mayors mother, who immigrated with Garcia from Peru when he was 5 years old, died July 26. She was 61 years old.

Greg ODonnell, 58, died on Sunday, Aug. 9, one day after his wifes memorial service, Garcia said.

Gabriella and Greg ODonnell, Whittier residents, were married for 27 years.

As my family is just broken with the loss of my parents, Jake ODonnell, Garcias half-brother, said in a Facebook post, I find comfort in knowing that they are together again free of any pain or suffering.

For Garcia, the death of his mother and stepfather has brought personal grief at a time when hes had to lead Long Beach through the coronavirus pandemic, both as the face of the public health response and as the citys mourner-in-chief with 183 residents having now died from coronavirus-related complications.

Because Garcias mother and stepfather were Whittier residents, their deaths are counted among Los Angeles Countys total lives lost, but not Long Beachs. As of Sunday, 4,977 people had died from coronavirus-related causes in Los Angeles County.

Every single one of them has a family, and they all deserve our love and respect, Garcia told the Press-Telegram the week his mother died, referring to the Long Beachs residents who have also lost their lives. There are others struggling and fighting for their lives. Were making progress, but we have a ways to go, and we shouldnt let up. We are on the right road, and we will get through this together.

He said these were difficult times.

But when I signed on as mayor, Garcia said, I signed on for the good times and the hard times.

These are tough times, really the hardest, he added, but we will get through them.

On Monday, as news of Greg ODonnells death circulated, other Long Beach officials both present and past noted Garcias special position as both public leader and grieving son during the pandemic.

My heart goes out to the mayor. I cant imagine the heartache and pain hes dealing with right now, District 8 Councilmember Al Austin said in a statement. The city family will work together to pick up the slack around him.

Daryl Supernaw, the citys Fourth District councilmember, expressed sympathy for both Garcia and his half-brother, noting the city also works with Jacob ODonnell, a field deputy for state Sen. Lena Gonzalez.

I cant imagine what hes going through, Supernaw said in his statement. Its just tragic.

(Being mayor) is such a tough job to begin with, and then tragedy hits, he added. The city family will continue to come together over this.

Gonzalez, who served as the First District councilmember for Long Beach Garcias first elected post before becoming mayor prior to winning election to the state Senate, said via Twitter that she was saddened by the loss.

I dont even have words, just so saddened again by this loss for our Senate family member Jacob & Mayor @RobertGarciaLB, she wrote via Twitter. Our Senate team & friends are here for you both & the whole family.

Former Mayor Beverly ONeill, who called Garcia a true leader after his mother died, echoed that sentiment again on Monday.

My heart goes out to Robert for the painful loss of his stepfather so soon after the passing of his mother, ONeill said. Knowing Robert, I know that he will have the courage and strength to continue with his leadership of Long Beach during these difficult times.

Harry Saltzgaver and Rich Archbold contributed to this report.

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Coronavirus: Long Beach Mayor Garcias stepfather dies, 2 weeks after leaders mother passed away - Long Beach Press Telegram

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