BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — An employee of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office has died from COVID-19, Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Thursday.
Youngblood said 64-year-old Maria Franco died Wednesday evening. He said, in a video posted to Facebook, she was the “gatekeeper” at the sheriff’s office, the person who “either let you in with a smile, or didn’t let you in with a smile.” He said she had a significant impact on the department, and on life in general. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office said Franco served for 13 years as the Headquarters Receptionist and Gatekeeper.
KCSO said Franco leaves behind a husband, three children and several grandchildren.
“Maria, you’ll be missed, we love you,” Youngblood said.
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a member of our law enforcement family, Maria Franco. Maria passed away last night from complications related to COVID-19. Maria served the Sheriff’s Office for 13 years as the Headquarters Receptionist and Gatekeeper. pic.twitter.com/T0i1wf7bD4— Kern County Sheriff’s Office (@KernCoSheriff) January 21, 2021