Jack Eccles is a longtime Baptist pastor with two doctoral degrees. Even at the age of ninety-three, he is currently learning German and recently posted a sermon to YouTube.
His wife of seventy years, Gerry, is the mother of their nine children. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2015 and lives in a nursing home in North Carolina. On March 12, when Dr. Eccles arrived as usual to spend much of the day with her, he was turned away because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So he returned the next day with a suitcase of clothes, books, medications, and his computer. The facility had agreed to rent him a single room so he could care for Gerry.
He has been there ever since. Wearing a mask and goggles, he feeds her three times a day, checks to be sure she gets her required forty ounces of liquid a day, and wipes drips so they don't stain her clothes. He positions Gerry's head and neck carefully to be sure she doesn't choke.
Their profile in the Wall Street Journal is an inspiring story of love, family, and ministry. In it, Dr. Eccles explains his care for his wife simply: "We're married. I want to be with her. She took care of me for seventy years, and now it's my turn."•