Retired Montessori School in River Forest teacher loses COVID-19 battle

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- A family shared the story of a retired suburban teacher and mother who lost her battle with COVID-19.

Her son called her a warrior for social justice.

Patrick Brent said that COVID-19 caused his mother, Jan, excruciating pain before her death.

Brent took to Facebook to post a raw account of her difficult experience.

The initial post received hundreds of "likes" and has been shared more than 1,400 times.

His post has also received several thousand comments.

"It took on a life of it's own," he said.

Jan Brent, 72, retired several years ago from a teaching career at a Montessori School in River Forest.

She was married to husband David for 47 year. David also had COVID-19 but showed no symptoms.

She died two days before Thanksgiving.

There's no predicting how the virus will affect different people, so everyone should do what they can to protect themselves and others, Brent said.

Jan Brent was a mother of two and a grandmother of five.

Children were a big part of her life. Some of her former students were among those who commented on social media. Many more however, never knew her.

Patrick said he tried to respond to all the comments before it became impossible.

Brent said his mother's death was terrible but he wanted it to have meaning.

He said it was difficult to communicate with his mother during the last weeks of her life in the hospital, but communicating her experience to others has helped provide some comfort.
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