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Menomonie widow surprised with Christmas lights after veteran husband passes away from COVID-19

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 9:39 PM CST
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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) - Jane Kingzett of Menomonie is mourning the loss of her husband, Scott, this Christmas after he passed away from COVID-19 complications in November.

“He was one of those gentle giants, an avid reader, educator,” she said.

Scott Kingzett with wife, Jane and grandchildren, Alex and Addysen on Christmas 2019.
Scott Kingzett with wife, Jane and grandchildren, Alex and Addysen on Christmas 2019.(Julie Kingzett-Farrell)

In an attempt to brighten her holiday season, landscapers from Green Oasis spent Thursday decorating her house in red, white and blue Christmas lights to honor Scott, a Marine Corps veteran and Menomonie firefighter.

Each Christmas season, Green Oasis decorates two deserving veteran families’ homes, a tradition Mitch Kitzrow says he looks forward to each year.

“It is a really cool opportunity for Green Oasis to be able to give back, say thank you and spread some holiday cheer this time of year,” Kitzrow said.

At dusk Thursday afternoon, friends and family and even the Menomonie Fire Department joined Jane outside her home for the big lights reveal.

She says the lights were a perfect way to honor her late husband of 52 years and showed her the impact he made to so many people in the community.

“Friends we didn’t really realize,” she said. “You just do your thing and you try to make a difference and don’t even realize what a difference it made to the community until you’re gone.”

“You always think your dad is pretty amazing but when you hear others say how amazing he was, it is overwhelming,” said Scott’s daughter, Julie, who came from Minnesota to see the lights.

In addition to his service in the military and the fire department, he was an umpire and volunteer at the Colfax Railroad Museum.

Scott’s grandchildren Alex and Addysen describe their late grandpa as their “biggest supporter”.

“His number one priority was to put others first. They would drive two hours just to see us run for half an hour. He wouldn’t just cheer for us he would cheer for everybody, all of our friends from high school and teammates. He wasn’t just our grandpa he was everybody’s grandpa,” they said.

Though this Christmas will be different for the Kingzett family members, Green Oasis hopes the lights make it a little brighter. Scott’s family says his light and legacy will continue to shine.

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