CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Mark Eckert was 61 and a member of the family that ran Eckert’s Furniture, which was around for nearly a hundred years. On Sunday morning at 2:30, he lost his life to COVID-19 at Cleveland Clinic.
After Eckert’s closed in 2010, Mark went to work in digital sales at The Vindicator, then he worked for the online publication Mahoning Matters.
His son, Zach, said his father started showing symptoms in mid-March.
“He did have a temperature,” he said. “A few times, a low-grade temperature but this really affected him, his lungs. It was very respiratory for him, so he had trouble breathing. As we were waiting for the results, we thought it might be bronchitis of some sort because he has had bronchitis in the past. But I just remember him saying, talking with him throughout this whole thing, that he hasn’t felt this way ever. It was a struggle for him to walk from one room to the other room.”
On March 17, Mark went to a drive-thru testing site at Cleveland Clinic. He returned to his home in Canfield and a week later, was told he tested positive.
Mark went back to Cleveland Clinic, where he died.
Zach wasn’t allowed to be there when he passed.
“That’s one of the most emotionally-tolling things,” he said. “Emotional toll on this disease, currently, is you cannot be with your loved ones when they are sick, and it’s the responsible thing to do. As much as it hurts, as much as you want to be there…with your loved one, you can’t. You can’t and that is one of the more sinister things about this disease currently.”
Zach said his mother is exhibiting some mild symptoms but has not been tested. He, his mother and his sister are quarantined in their Canfield home.
Everyone WKBN talked to said Mark was a great guy. He was best friends with former Vindicator general manager Mark Brown, who said he never met anyone quite like Mark Eckert. He was always friendly, helpful, joking and caring.
“I was lucky to be his friend,” Brown said.