(CBS DETROIT) – Thousands of lives have been claimed by the novel coronavirus in Michigan with a majority of cases being in Metro Detroit.

Two of those cases include Nate Slappey’s father, Nathaniel and grandfather. 

Nathaniel Slappey — who was known as “Coach Slappey” — was described by his son as a creative and very family oriented man. He lost his battle with coronavirus on May 2, three days after his father.

“He coached his entire life, he coached at (Detroit) Country Day, he loved coaching and he just loved nurturing people in his way,” his son said. 

Nate says the values and foundations he carries today is because of his father and grandfather. With the lessons they instilled in Nate, he believes he is confident to carry on the family’s name.

Nathaniel Slappey would have turned 50 this past Saturday and as a surprise to the family, Nate’s wife, Ada, organized the perfect celebration.

“I think once the family put two and two together and started recognizing people and realized they were here to celebrate dad, it was like the perfect home going, it was the perfect way to say we love you,” she said.

The family thought they were going to golf in Nathaniel’s honor, but instead were greeted by over 100 of his friends.

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