Special tribute for Chilton County father who lost his battle with COVID-19

Family and friends gather for benefit ride for Jimmy Kromer

CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A special tribute for a Chilton County man and father who lost his battle with COVID-19 in August.

Jimmy Kromer had been flown out of state in search of intensive COVID-19 care, but he never made it back home.

His family and friends came together Saturday in his honor.

“He’d always do his best to make you laugh, make you smile," said Kromer’s daughter Missy Early. They are one family, out of thousands, learning to move forward after losing a loved one. “You can’t break us,” said Early.

Kromer died a few weeks ago after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He had several other illnesses his family believes made it tougher for him to pull through.

The father of three, grandfather and great-grandfather died in a Tennessee hospital hundreds of miles away from his home in Clanton.

The home where his friends and family gathered Saturday in Kromer’s honor to help pay off final expenses.

“Daddy was loved by everybody he met,” said Early.

The family home was the last stop on a benefit ride for Kromer that started in Jemison. Each stop with a different meaning, like at Lay Lake, where the family would camp every weekend.

Things just aren’t the same without him.

“I lost my best friend,” said daughter Early.

But Early says she knows her dad is at peace as he passed just hours after the family promised to take care of the love his life, Beverly.

Surrounded by family and friends, Beverly’s not alone. The bond remains intact.

“We stick together. We’re Kromer strong. You can’t break us,” said Early.

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