Community Members Rally to Raise Funds to Support Javier Covarrubias’ Family
By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
Gelson’s employee Javier Covarrubias, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, died at age 47 on May 24 following a two-month fight against the virus.
“Javier fought tremendously for his life for the past two months with no intention of giving up,” according to a GoFundMe set up to raise money for his family. Covarrubias battled pneumonia, lung complications and two cardiac arrests.
Covarrubias spent his tenure as a grocery store employee for 23 years at Gelson’s Market, located at 15424 Sunset Blvd. in the Palisades, working in the meat department.
“It is with great sadness that Gelson’s announces the passing of Javier Covarrubias, a valued team member of the Pacific Palisades store,” a Gelson’s Market representative shared in a statement to the Palisadian-Post. “He was a loving, caring, hard-working man, and the Gelson’s family will mourn his passing … Our deepest condolences go out to his beloved wife and three children, and we ask that you please respect the family’s privacy.”
Covarrubias contracted COVID-19 while employed at the store, according to the GoFundMe. He was said to be a heavily involved member of UFCW 770, a union made up of 31,000 members advocating for grocery workers, as well as other types of workers, such as healthcare and retail health.
“It’s been hard on the whole community because a lot of people knew him—customers, employees—because he was a talker and talked to everybody,” close friend and co-worker since 2000 Cedric Derrick told the Post.
When Gelson’s found out about Covarrubias testing positive for COVID-19 on March 27, the store closed early, and had an outside service come in and completely sanitize before reopening on March 28.
Angel and Carlos Covarrubias organized a fundraiser on behalf of Covarrubias’ wife, Delia. As the Post went to print Tuesday evening, more than $49,000 had been raised so far to help support the family.
“We ask you to please keep him and his family in your prayers,” the GoFundMe continued. “His family would appreciate any contributions to help them through this difficult time.”
As the sixth son of Carlos and Lilia Covarrubias, he’s described as a “caring son, a loving husband, and dedicated brother.” He was also said to be a “great and proud father,” “a dear friend to everyone,” a “tough uncle” and a “straight shooter” who spoke his mind.
He loved motorcycles from a young age and participated in a charity ride called The Love Ride annually.
Javier leaves behind his wife, Delia, and three children: Juliana, Javier Jr. and Jessica.
To make a donation, visit gofundme.com/f/923e4s-20000.
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