Pennsylvania man who portrayed Santa for decades dies of COVID-19

Pennsylvania man who portrayed Santa for decades dies of COVID-19


A Pennsylvania man who instilled a sense of wonder into generations of children while portraying Santa has died of the coronavirus, his wife said.

Lewis “Lew” Williamson, 76, succumbed to the virus Monday after getting sick in early December — despite precautions he took to avoid getting infected, his wife told the Times-Tribune.

“He was petrified to get sick,” Maureen Williamson told the newspaper, adding that her husband took the threat seriously and had planned Zoom meetings as St. Nick this season.

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But Williamson, who spent 30 years as Santa for countless children in northeast Pennsylvania, was admitted to a hospital on Dec. 4 and was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was later put on a ventilator in an ICU unit, where visitation was limited, the newspaper reported.

“It was a hard month,” Maureen Williamson said.

Williamson got emotional as she recalled one boy who sat on her husband’s lap at a Scott Township store in 2019 and asked for

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