The family of Josh Mellor travel to the Cowichan Exhibition grounds as part of a tractor parade to honour the family man and farmer lost to COVID-19. (Sara Phillips photo)

The family of Josh Mellor travel to the Cowichan Exhibition grounds as part of a tractor parade to honour the family man and farmer lost to COVID-19. (Sara Phillips photo)

Memorial, tractor parade for Cowichan farmer who died of COVID draws many

Josh Mellor was well known in the Cowichan Valley

A memorial for the popular Cowichan farmer who died after a brief but devastating battle against COVID’s Delta variant, and whose story inspired others in the community to get vaccinated, was held last weekend, roughly eight months after his passing.

Josh Mellor died on Sept. 27, 2021 during the height of the pandemic, leaving behind his wife Miranda, two daughters (an infant and a toddler), his family, and a host of friends and neighbours in the community who were doing everything they could to support the man who spent his life doing everything he could to support them.

Mellor was just 39.

His family opted to wait for a safer time to have a large gathering as they knew many from out of town would want to attend his memorial.

The Celebration of Life included a tractor parade, which friends from near and far joined in to honour their friend.

“The parade was amazing,” said his sister Sara Phillips. “There were about 75 tractors and trucks etc. that participated.”

It showed how popular he was around these parts, agreed Phillips.

“There were lots not there as well, as I know there were lots of farmers doing silage.”

The service was held at Mellor Hall on May 21, and was live-streamed online. The numbers who attended/viewed the service were also high.

“There was an amazing turnout of people in person, and a ton of people who joined the live-stream online,” Phillips said.

It was a bittersweet day, but one many said was a beautiful day full of good memories and the appreciation of Josh and his family.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 2 after a runny nose devolved into severe coughs and body aches.

An asthmatic, Mellor was assessed at Cowichan District Hospital on Sept. 7 but was sent home with an inhaler and additional monitoring. The following day with his condition deteriorating, he returned to CDH via ambulance but later transferred to Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where he died on Sept. 27.

SEE RELATED: COVID-19 Delta variant claims young Cowichan farmer Josh Mellor

Coronaviruscowichan valley

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