Wife of late Warren firefighter urges community to take COVID-19 seriously

Coronavirus

Lt. Don Beauchene's kids describe him as a big family man with the biggest heart

TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WKBN) – A community is mourning the loss of a beloved husband, father and firefighter.

Lt. Don Beauchene passed away on Tuesday from complications with COVID-19, just one week after he received his diagnosis.

His family is still in shock but says people need to take the virus seriously.

“It’s been really hard on all of us,” said Michelle Beauchene, Don’s wife. “It’s just devastated us because Don was the strong one in the family.”

Don and Michelle were getting ready to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary in January.

Their blended family includes 10 children, four of them whose adoptions were finalized in the last few years. His kids describe him as a big family man with the biggest heart.

“He was the most amazing person that I’ve ever met,” Michelle said.

“He taught me how to grow and be like a better man and he was just like, the best father ever,” said London Beauchene, Don’s son.

“With Don being gone, that’s gonna have a profound effect on them for the rest of their life, but the love that they were able to experience from him will never leave them,” said Marilyn Papa, with Trumbull County Children Services.

Michelle says Don’s other passion was his job at the Warren Fire Department where he worked for 25 years.

“I’ve never met a more genuine heart person, I mean, words can’t describe it,” said fellow firefighter John Jerina.

Michelle is encouraging people to take the virus seriously. She says Don was vigilant about taking precautionary measures and was otherwise a healthy man, but still, it took his life.

“It took my husband, it took my kids’ father away from us,” Michelle said.

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