Diner Owner Who Defied Lockdown Dies of COVID

Michigan man John Parney was hospitalized for more than 2 months
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2021 5:09 AM CST
Diner Owner Who Reopened During Lockdown Dies of COVID
The diner reopened for dine-in service while lockdown orders were still in effect.   (Getty Images/hxdbzxy)

(Newser) – A Michigan diner owner's long fight against COVID restrictions was followed by a long fight against the virus. John Parney, the 62-year-old owner of the Quincy Diner in Quincy, Branch County, died on Dec. 13, more than two months after he was first hospitalized, MLive reports. In December last year, Parney reopened the diner for dine-in customers in defiance of state lockdown restrictions, saying his wife was suffering from stage four colon cancer and he couldn't afford to go without the income. He said he had lost too much money during the shutdown earlier in 2020 and was at risk of losing the restaurant, reports WILX.

Parney, a former Marine, is survived by his wife and three children. According to a GoFundMe fundraiser started by relatives, he was first hospitalized on Sept. 29 and released three days later, but was taken back to the hospital after two days when his symptoms "raged with a fierce vengeance." "For those who will ask, no, John was not vaccinated from COVID-19," his relatives wrote. "However, during his battle, when he was able to talk, John shared with his family that he will be getting vaccinated because the battle, at that point, was worse than any training he endured in the military." The fundraiser has now raised almost $23,000 of its $25,000 goal. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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