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    Monday, March 04, 2024

    Salem man's COVID-19 ordeal ends in death

    Left, Christina and Mark Gendron can be seen in good times at a track and field meet at Salem School, where all four of their children attended. At right, they pose together at Backus Hospital on his last “good day” before his condition deteriorated to the point that he needed to be put on a ventilator and transferred to Hartford Hospital for next-level treatment. (Submitted photos)

    Salem — Mark Gendron, a retired state trooper whose wife earlier this month shared the couple's "biggest regret" in a public plea for others to get vaccinated against COVID-19, has died.

    He died Tuesday night at Hartford Hospital, according to the family. He was 52 years old.

    Connecticut State Police on Wednesday announced his death in a statement. Gendron, a 1998 graduate of the training academy, retired in 2019. He was a patrol trooper at Troop D in Danielson and Troop K in Colchester, resident trooper in Hebron and a detective in the Casino Unit.

    Most recently, Gendron was a school resource officer at EO Smith High School in Mansfield.

    He lived in Salem with his wife of almost three years, Christina, and their blended family of four children.

    Salem First Selectman Kevin Lyden described Gendron as an active part of the community and a youth sports coach.

    "It's a sad day in Salem," he said.

    Lyden and his wife visited the hospital earlier this month, where he said their offer of assistance was met only with a request for prayers from Christina Gendron.

    Lyden said he planned to stop by the Gendron home Wednesday evening.

    "It's a very sensitive time for families when this happens, and a lot of times people don't even know what they need. They just need us to be available to them," he said. "And the Salem community is known for stepping up in times of need. Consistently, Salem townspeople do that."

    Gendron had been hospitalized since July 16. His wife in an earlier interview went public with their regrets about not getting vaccinated in time.

    e.regan@theday.com

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