PORTLAND, Ore. — Marcia Haug – a 90-year-old mother to three and grandmother to seven – traveled through Europe by bicycle when she was in her 20s, loved nature, made it a point never to miss a Rose Parade and “was a teacher through and through.”
Haug died Sunday, March 22, after suddenly coming down with a fever and bad cough three days earlier.
She hadn’t complained of any ailments that Thursday afternoon but began to show symptoms by nightfall. Staff at the Regency Park assisted living center, where she lived just west of Portland’s city limits on Southwest Barnes Road, called one of her daughters and asked how she wanted to proceed.
Daughter Cindy Madden summoned an ambulance and Haug was at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center within 20 minutes. Medical staff gave her a COVID-19 test.
It came back positive early Saturday morning and doctors told Haug’s family that same day that they were switching gears to provide “comfort care.” The next day, Haug died.
Because of concerns about spreading the disease, Haug’s family wasn’t allowed at the hospital to say goodbye. But Madden and her siblings each got to speak to their mother by phone and through FaceTime, thanks to St. Vincent medical staff.
“I think mine was about two minutes,” Madden said. “Nonetheless, it was priceless.”
Madden shared stories about her mom with The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Haug grew up in Minneapolis. While enrolled at the University of Minnesota, she spent her summers waitressing at Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, which fed her love for nature.
Right after graduating with a teaching degree, she moved to Oregon to spend her career as a Portland Public Schools teacher, including a long stint at Faubion School in Northeast Portland.
She and her husband, William K. Haug, married in 1955, raised their three children and enjoyed trips over the years pulling their RV around the U.S. and going on salmon fishing and camping adventures along the Oregon coast.
William Haug died in 2016 after the couple celebrated 61 years of marriage. According to his obituary, they'd lived in the same Northeast Portland house for almost 60 years.
Madden said her mother was a member of Central Lutheran Church during all her decades in Portland.
Her mom loved to travel -- “her first big adventure was a bicycle trip around Europe in her early twenties” -- and she encouraged her children and grandchildren to do the same, Madden said.
“My parents never missed a Portland Rose Parade,” Madden wrote in an email to The Oregonian/OregonLive. “They would park the RV on the route and host the grandchildren overnight to save their spot. It was a rite of passage for the grandkids to be invited to stay the night. The night before always included fresh Oregon strawberry shortcake.”
Haug was an attentive grandmother and often had lessons for the kids -- whether it was how to tie their shoes or tell time.
“She loved books and loved to give them as gifts,” Madden said. “My mother was a teacher through and through. I will miss her forever."
-- Aimee Green; firstname.lastname@example.org; @o_aimee
This article was originally published by The Oregonian/Oregonlive, one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving health issue.