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‘She knew she had a job to do': Social worker dies from COVID-19, remembered as dedicated

Cathy Peeler is described as someone who was passionate about people

FLORESVILLE, Texas – A Floresville social worker is being remembered for her passion for helping nursing home residents after dying from COVID-19 complications.

Cathy Peeler, 71, died in July. Her family believes she contracted the virus on the job.

“What are we going to do without our mom and without our grandma? What is the year going to look like, and what are the years to come to look like?” Peeler’s daughter, Linzi Felan, questioned.

Felan said her mother began to feel sick on July 5 and was later admitted to the hospital. Peeler was put on a ventilator two days later.

She said her mother sent her one final text message.

“‘I love you all and proud of you all and take care of the kids,‘” Felan said the message read.

Peeler had been a social worker for more than 25 years, and she spent most of that time caring for residents at different nursing homes.

“It didn’t matter who you were, she saw the best in people. She just wanted to know you. She just wanted to know people,” Felan said.

Prairie Meadows Rehabilitation and Health Care Center would be the last one Peeler worked. Residents and staff there had also tested positive for COVID-19.

Felan believes her mother contracted the virus from the facility. State numbers show 27 employees and 44 residents have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.

Nexion Health, the company that oversees the facility, reports 23 residents have fully recovered.

Felan wishes her mother had a better outcome. She said Peeler made sure everyone had what they needed, even from the hospital.

“She knew that she had a job to do, and she had people to help,” said Felan.

The mother and grandmother battled ovarian cancer nine years ago, but her daughter never saw her lose her strength. Felan hopes to carry on her mother’s legacy as a social worker.

“I wish I could be half the social worker that she was, and I strive to do that. She just had a genuine heart,” Felan said.

Felan said she chooses to remember her mother as a woman who dedicated her life to others.

“I guess she wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Felan said.