‘Thanksgiving Grandma’ keeps up tradition despite COVID loss

PHOENIX, AZ (AP) — An Arizona woman who drew widespread attention after opening her Thanksgiving table to a stranger she accidentally texted has kept the tradition going, despite losing her husband Lonnie to COVID-19.

Wanda Dench and 21-year-old Jamal Hinton met in 2016 after the grandmother from the Phoenix suburb of Mesa mistakenly texted her grandson about coming for Thanksgiving to Hinton’s number.

Hinton jokingly replied he would like to come as well. Dench told him he was welcome.

Last week, they celebrated a mini Thanksgiving dinner with a photo of Lonnie Dench and an an empty chair for him.

The couple was infected in March and Lonnie Dench died the next month.

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