Lonnie Dench, the husband of Wanda Dench who became known as “accidental Thanksgiving grandma” after mistakenly texting the wrong number and inviting then 17-year-old Jamal Hinton to her home for dinner, has passed away.
Both Lonnie and Wanda had been battling COVID-19, but Hinton issued a tragic update late Wednesday night informing his followers that Lonnie passed away due to the coronavirus.
“I am so sad to announce that Wanda and Lonnie both have COVID-19 and that Lonnie is currently in the hospital fighting both COVID and Pneumonia please send words of love and encouragement their way,” he initally wrote with pictures of himself with his girlfriend Mikaela and the Denches.
Then, came the unfortunate update.
“As some of you may have already found out tonight Lonnie did not make it… he passed away Sunday morning,” he tweeted. “But Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face so I thank every single one of you guys for that!”
As some of you may have already found out tonight Lonnie did not make it… he passed away Sunday morning😔 but Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face so I thank every single one of you guys for that!🙏🏽❤️ https://t.co/tNvals0FMh
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) April 9, 2020
The relation between the Dench family and Hinton began back in 2016. When Hinton informed Wanda she had texted the wrong person, but she kept the invitation open and Hinton went to her home for the holiday. Then, for every year since, the families have gotten together to celebrate their unlikely and unique friendship.
This is how it all started.
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/QGrx83nHLl
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 15, 2016
And here’s a look back at the history between Hinton and the Denches.
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 29, 2019
In a social media environment where things can get overwhelmingly negative, this was a story that everyone appreciated and loved. Our thoughts are with Wanda and the Dench family and all of their friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.