Stay-at-home- dad Oak Gregg-Donaldson, 40, died last week in his sleep, just hours after his wife, Teri Gregg-Donaldson, gave birth to their seventh child.
A family gathered Saturday with family and friends, kids played and sang Christmas songs and decorations glimmered throughout the house.
Typical for this holiday season, but the Gregg-Donaldson family wasn't in their home, and Oak Gregg-Donaldson wasn't there.
A stay-at-home dad and cub scout leader, Oak Gregg-Donaldson, 40, died last week in his sleep, just hours after his wife, Teri Gregg-Donaldson, gave birth to their seventh child on Wednesday.
Teri Gregg-Donaldson, the family's wage earner, was admitted to the hospital Oct. 31 because she was having issues with her pregnancy. Out of work for months, she is an adjuster for Progressive.
She hasn't been home since. After being discharged from the hospital she went right to her mother's house.
"I can't go home, not yet," Teri Gregg-Donaldson said.
Her mom, Patti Town Armbruster, is going to be her new partner in life, she said.
Teri's last moments with her husband Teri Gregg-Donaldson still isn't sure how or exactly when her husband died because she is waiting to hear back from the medical examiner.
They had a wonderful last night together, she said. He was with her at the hospital, they had dinner, watched TV and cuddled and made a belly cast.
When Teri had the baby, Oak was pacing the hall. When a nurse asked him if he was alright, he said he was anxious to see his wife.
The baby was born at 32 weeks and taken right to the NICU for breathing support. He will stay in the hospital for five to eight more weeks.
Teri and Oak Gregg-Donaldson spent time with their new baby boy, but on their walk to go see him Oak Gregg-Donaldson had to stop to take breaks along the way.
This wasn't like him, Teri Gregg-Donaldson said. He also had her check his pulse, an unusual request, but it seemed fine.
Oak Gregg-Donaldson was a stay-at-home dad and left Wednesday night to be with their other children.
Their children now ranging in ages from less than a week old to 10. Four of their children were adopted through the foster care system and three are their biological children. Oak Gregg-Donaldson also has a 19-year-old daughter.
At 2:30 a.m. Thursday, Teri Gregg-Donaldson sent her husband a text, not knowing it would be the last.
She texted, "I love you. I hope you're feeling better. Call me when you wake up, my love."
Thursday morning their children couldn't wake him. Police, the fire department and emergency services responded.
Town Armbruster called her daughter and told her it wasn't going to be a good day.
How their relationship began Teri and Oak Gregg-Donaldson's life together began and ended in December.
They met in December through a mutual friend when she was 14 and he was 18.
"We fell in love immediately, I knew he was the man I was going to marry," Teri Gregg-Donaldson said.
They started out as friends because of the age difference and then started dating when she got older.
They eloped in Daytona when Teri Gregg-Donaldson was 18.
"He was always my other half," she said.
The whole family is grieving. Their 2-year-old daughter walks around crying all day, their 5-year-old son keeps asking his mom to take pictures of him and send them to his dad and their 8-year-old son asked Santa for his daddy as his Christmas present.
Their 10-year-old daughter is very open and grieving by talking to her mom and asking questions.
Town Armbruster is also grieving, not only for the loss of Oak Gregg-Donaldson, who she looked at as her own son, but for her daughter.
The family has come together in its grief.
Family, friends come together Teri Donaldson's close friend, who she calls her sister, flew from upstate New York to be with them for a few days and her aunt flew in from Michigan to spend the week.
Another close friend who Teri Donaldson calls her aunt, Susan Picolo, spends the days with them, only going home to sleep.
Picolo said she would always call Oak Gregg-Donaldson "super dad" because his children were his life.
Oak Gregg-Donaldson, who was an Eagle Scout, even started his own Cub Scout pack so his family could scout together, boys and girls.
He revitalized Pack 110, that had gone dormant for a few years, Senior District Executive of the Panther District James Laughlin said.
Oak Gregg-Donaldson started the pack with five kids, three were his own, and in a year he grew the pack to more than 20 kids, Laughlin said.
"Oak believed in giving back to the community, and he went above and beyond," he said.
It is devastating to lose him, Laughlin said, but the Scout family will continue to be there and support the Gregg-Donaldson family.
Casey Jones, one of Oak Gregg-Donaldson's best friends and a priest at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Naples, met Oak Gregg-Donaldson at Cypress Lake High School when Jones was a junior.
He said he remembers they thought they were going to hate each other, but they became best friends.
"He (Oak) pretty much looks and acts like an oak. He is strong, resilient and stubborn," Jones said.
Jones said Oak Gregg-Donaldson's loyalty ran deep and he was always the first person to help.
"I hope we as his friends can help and support his family because that's what he would have wanted," Jones said.
Rachel Anderson, the sister of one of the first responders who responded to the Gregg-Donaldson home Thursday, first heard about the family at church. They had been praying for them during Teri Gregg-Donaldson's pregnancy.
Then through her brother she heard about Oak Gregg-Donaldson's death.
Anderson is helping organize support for the family. Their primary need is a van that can transport all of the children because their vehicle broke down just before Teri landed in the hospital.
Anderson is trying to make connections with people who know a car dealership and is taking donations for a van for the family. If anyone would like to help they can call Anderson at 239-851-9345.
The family also has a GoFundMe page set up for funeral costs, hospital expenses for the youngest child, and future expenses. There is also an online meal train set up to help the family.
This story originally published to naplesnews.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.