By Cheryl Fiandaca

HOLYOKE (CBS) — The COVID-19 outbreaks at the state-run soldier’s homes claimed the lives of dozens of veterans and sparked several investigations which, so far, have led to two indictments. As many look to return to normal this Memorial Day, the families of those who died at the homes feel they can’t.

Jim Mandeville fought his last battle at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

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“He was an awesome dad and such an encouragement for me we were so close,” said daughter Laurie Mandeville Beaudette.

He was one of 76 veterans who died of coronavirus at the state-run facility.

Laurie Mandeville Beaudette and Jim Mandeville (Family Photo)

His daughter Laurie is she’s disappointed that he was not among those honored Thursday at the home’s Memorial Day observance.

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“He died in 2020. He should have been included. Not sure who what responsible for invitations,” she said.

But Laurie said she doesn’t need a ceremony to remember her father. She still talks to him every day. The two had a special relationship and Laurie was his primary caretaker.

She is still holding on to his ashes – not yet ready to say a final goodbye.

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“Finding the right time when I can handle the last letting him go. I’m not gonna have the chance to go out there and play cards with him. I just wish I had more time.”

Cheryl Fiandaca