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GRIMES, Iowa — Ron Moyer’s family overcame the obstacles of social distancing and dementia to give him the chance to participate in his granddaughter’s wedding.

“Every time I came over and everyone who came to visit him, he was like, ‘when do I get to walk my granddaughter down the aisle?'” said his granddaughter, Payton Nees.

Nees got married in August. She and her mother, Sara McClintock, organized a second ceremony at Moyer’s assisted living facility a month earlier so he could live out his wish.

Moyer died from dementia this week.

“He was getting healthy and gaining the weight we needed,” McClintock said. “We were helping him walk so he could walk her down the aisle.”

“It was better than my wedding just to have that moment with my grandpa,” Nees said.

While COVID-19 delayed many weddings in Iowa, the family could not push their wedding plans back. Nees’ husband was soon deployed with the National Guard to Kosovo, and Moyer’s mental state declined as his dementia intensified.

“It’s been really hard the last year,” said his wife, Sharon Moyer. “He hasn’t been the man I married.”

Moyer held on, and the family says the ceremony was the one memory dementia couldn’t touch.

“This was the most important thing to him and he talked about it up until he passed,” Nees said.

The family will lay Moyer to rest on Saturday.