IN MEMORY OF CLORIS LEACHMAN - APRIL 30, 1926 - JANUARY 27, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Cloris Leachman who struggled with COVID-19 when she had a stroke and died.
“The Last Picture Show” made her a star, but she may be best remembered for drawing laughs on “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Phyllis” and “Malcolm in the Middle.”
Cloris Leachman, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a neglected housewife in the stark drama “The Last Picture Show” but who was probably best known for getting laughs, notably in three Mel Brooks movies and on television comedies like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Malcolm in the Middle,” died at her home in Encinitas, Calif. She was 94.
Ms. Leachman entered the spotlight as a Miss America contestant in 1946 and was still in the public eye more than 74 years later, portraying offbeat grandmothers on television and film and competing with celebrities less than half her age on “Dancing With the Stars.” In between, she won admiring reviews for her stage, film and television work, as well as Emmy Awards for performances in both dramas and comedies.
Her movie career began in 1955 when she played a doomed hitchhiker in “Kiss Me Deadly,” a hard-boiled detective film based on a novel by Mickey Spillane. She was already a seasoned stage and television actress by then, and throughout the rest of the 1950s and the ’60s she appeared in big roles on the small screen — she preceded June Lockhart as the mother in the 1957-58 season of “Lassie” — and small roles on the big screen, including as a prostitute in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969).
But she did not become a star until Peter Bogdanovich cast her in “The Last Picture Show,” his 1971 adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s novel about life in a small Texas town in the early 1950s. Her nakedly emotional portrait of a lonely middle-aged woman who has a brief affair with a high school football player won her the Oscar for best supporting actress.
“I’m at a point where I’m free to go out and have a little fun with my career,” she said after winning. “Some Oscar winners have dropped out of sight as if they were standing on a trapdoor. Others picked it up and ran with it. I’m going to run with it.”
She did, and more awards and acclaim quickly followed. She never received another Oscar nomination, but between 1972 and 2011 she was nominated for 22 Primetime Emmys and won eight.
Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926, in Des Moines to Berkeley and Cloris (Wallace) Leachman. Her father worked at his family’s lumber company. She began acting in children’s theater when she was 7 (her younger sister would also become an actress, under the name Claiborne Cary) and went on to study drama at Northwestern University, which would award her an honorary degree in 2014.
Ms. Leachman remained in show business almost to the end of her life. (“They are going to have to take a lead pipe and beat me over the head with it to get me to stop,” she told an interviewer in 2011.) In 2008, she finished seventh out of 13 contestants on “Dancing With the Stars,” the popular ABC competition pairing celebrities with professional dancers. At 82, she was the oldest contestant to take part in that competition.
We will honor and remember Cloris on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF JAN JUDMAN - 1941 - 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Marcy in California in honor and memory of Jan Judman who died of COVID-19.
Marcy writes: Thank you for sewing this quilt. My friend Rachel sewed this. She didn't know my friend Jan who was a school nurse who also volunteered for many community projects.
Jan would also say, "Is there anything you need?"
We will honor and remember Jan on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF DR. ALYCE CHENAULT GULLATTEE - JUNE 28, 1928 - APRIL 30, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Dr. Alyce Chenault Gullattee who died of COVID-19.
Dr. Gullattee, who died of the coronavirus, taught at Howard University and served on White House committees for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter.
For more than a half-century, Dr. Alyce Gullattee treated countless drug addicts, AIDS patients and prostitutes in Washington, even if it meant taking to some of the city’s more dangerous streets to help those in desperate need.
“Dr. G,” as she was affectionately called by patients, became a nationally recognized expert on substance abuse as an associate professor of psychiatry at Howard University and director of Howard’s Institute on Drug Abuse and Addiction. She served on White House committees on substance abuse for three presidents: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
Dr. Gullattee (pronounced guh-LAH-tee) died on April 30 in Rockville, Md., after testing positive for Covid-19, her daughter Aishaetu Gullattee said. She was 91. She had suffered a stroke in February and had been hospitalized for weeks.
A determined and outspoken advocate, Dr. Gullattee spent a lifetime trying to break down racial barriers for the most vulnerable members of the African-American community.
The Rev. Willie Wilson, a retired pastor at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, told NPR in May about the stories he had heard from victims of the drug crisis in the 1980s. “I was working with a lot of people who had problems with substance abuse,” he said, “and they were telling me about this doctor who was going up to 7th and T, into the crack houses, pulling people out and taking them to Howard University for treatment.”
Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard’s president, said in a statement that Dr. Gullattee’s service to the university had been “unparalleled.”
“She played a significant role in the education and training of literally thousands of physicians,” he said, “including a significant percentage of the African-American physicians practicing in this country.”
Alyce Chenault was born on June 28, 1928, in Detroit to Bertha and Earl Chenault. Her father stoked furnaces at a Chrysler plant. Though neither of her parents attended high school, they insisted that their children get an education.
We will honor and remember Dr. Gullattee on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF WILSON ROOSEVELT JERMAN - JANUARY 21, 1929 - MAY 16, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Wilson Roosevelt Jerman who died of COVID-19.
Wilson Roosevelt Jerman was one of the last people alive who could remember watching from the door of the White House as President John F. Kennedy’s casket, placed on an artillery carriage and led by a team of gray horses, left the Northeast Gate on its way to the Capitol.
“We were standing out on the North Portico, and it was just a quiet day, couldn’t hear anything but those horses — click, click,” he recalled in a gentle voice when I interviewed him several years ago. “It was a very sad day.”
Jerman, who died in May at 91 years old from Covid-19, served 11 presidents as a butler and doorman, making him one of the longest-serving employees at the White House — and a first-hand witness to decades of American history.
He started at “the house,” as he and other Residence staffers call it, as a cleaner in 1957, during the Eisenhower administration. During the Kennedy administration, he was promoted to butler. He retired as a White House doorman in 2012, during Barack Obama’s presidency. No matter who held the nation’s highest office, Jerman was known for displaying a sense of duty and decorum, never seeking the spotlight and fiercely guarding every president and his family.
Jerman was born on January 21, 1929, in Seaboard, North Carolina. He dropped out of school at 12 years old to work on a farm. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1955 and catered Georgetown dinner parties before he got a job as a cleaner at the White House.
Like most of his colleagues who work on the Residence staff, Jerman considered discretion and loyalty to be the most important parts of his job description. He tried not to talk about his job if he could help it. “There would be too many questions asked,” he told me. He went so far as to avoid revealing where he really worked. “I’d say, ‘I work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,’ and 99 percent of the people don’t know where that is. They’d ask you, ‘What warehouse is that? What building is that?’ I’d say, ‘It’s downtown,’” he said.
As a butler, he saw presidents and their families alone in the Residence. As a doorman, he saw everyone coming and going. But he said he would go to the grave with some of the most private things he witnessed — and he did. Jerman viewed his loyalty to the first family and his guarding of their privacy as a natural response to the trust they placed in him. “It makes you feel good that you could just go up there and walk in the first lady’s bedroom and pick up whatever she asked you to go get,” he said.
One of his close relatives remembered how every president and first lady were like Jerman’s second family. And they loved him back. When Jerman’s wife was sick, the relative said, first lady Mamie Eisenhower would sometimes send him home with meals to help feed his five children.
When the Obamas moved in, Jerman, who was African American, was amazed and honored that he would be serving the first Black first family, he told me. In Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, she included a photo of Jerman standing in the White House elevator with the Obamas. He was wearing a white bow tie and smiling broadly. In a statement after his passing, the former first lady said, “With his kindness and care, Wilson Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of first families, including ours.”
We will honor and remember Wilson on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF LaVERNE LAND - 1943 - 2020
LaVerne Land who died of COVID-19.
Vicki writes: I am sending a quilt square for a friend’s Mom. Thank you for doing this with your daughter Madeleine. She’s a VERY special young lady; a hero too.
As she’s honoring all these loved ones she is lifting so much pain from the families left behind. To know that they will be remembered, seen as individual victims and prayed over thousands of times by viewers is a comforting and healing gift.
Thank you and all your volunteers for this huge gift of love
We will honor and remember LaVerne on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF PAUL LEIGHTON JOHNSON - JANUARY 11, 1971 - AUGUST 4, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Paul Leighton Johnson who died of COVID-19.
Paul Leighton Johnson was one of a kind. Even in the face of enormous adversity, the Chicago icon lived life with the same irrepressible spirit you can hear all over his classics. After a publicized struggle with Covid-19 in recent weeks, he passed away on the morning of August 4th 2021, leaving behind a chasm in house music.
Johnson was one of the most visible disabled DJs on the world stage, a wheelchair user from the age of 16 after a stray bullet left him paralyzed from the waist down. What’s less well-known is that he suffered years of noise-triggered PTSD as a result of the accident, which frames his career in music through the lens of resilience, commitment and love for craft.
By 2010 he was a double-amputee: ongoing pains claimed his left leg in 2003, and a severe accident required the removal of his right leg seven years later, as well as crushing his hip and damaging his spine. Yet Johnson remained undeterred in his mission to bring authentic, heartfelt house music to anyone willing to accept it. As it transpired, there were millions of eager listeners in all four corners of the globe.
Paul Johnson is best known for 1999’s ‘Get Get Down’, an inescapable anthem which landed in the top 5 of the UK Singles Chart, and was the penultimate Billboard Dance Club #1 of the 20th century.
As much as having a hand in the direction house music travelled, Paul Johnson should be remembered for his ribald sense of humor and tenacious spirit. That’s who he was, at the core: a man with stories for days and an undimmed sense of adventure; someone who could beckon for the mic at shows and cuss out President Trump with absolute authority; a force of nature in the booth, and a sweet soul in person.
Paul Johnson’s final service to the world came in July 2021. Over a series of harrowing Instagram posts spanning just three days, he told us he had been hospitalized with Covid-19, began to say his goodbyes, and then, finally, admitted that he would be moved to the ICU for intubation. There were no more posts after that.
We will honor and remember Paul on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF HERMAN CAIN - DECEMBER 13, 1945 - JULY 30, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Herman Cain who died of COVID-19.
Herman Cain, who captured the nation's attention with his pursuit of the presidency and made a major impact on American business, passed away July 30, 2020, exactly 18 years to the day that he was licensed to preach the Word of God in his home church, Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta.
Mr. Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee on December 13, 1945, and soon moved to Atlanta where he grew up in poverty and spent much of his childhood on his grandparent's dirt farm near Atlanta. But his parents, Luther Cain Jr. and Lenora Davis Cain, provided him with a loving and supportive environment and many valuable life lessons.
Mr. Cain graduated from Morehouse College in 1967 and took a civilian job with the U.S. Navy. Mr. Cain then moved into a business career, starting with the Coca Cola Company and later moving to the Pillsbury Company where he became one of Pillsbury's vice presidents.
He then accepted positions as: an executive with Burger King, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, CEO of Godfather's Pizza, and president of the National Restaurant Association.
After capturing America's attention during a televised encounter with President Bill Clinton on the matter of health care policy, and after coming in an impressive second in his 2004 bid for the United States Senate in Georgia, Mr. Cain became host of his own show on Atlanta's WSB Radio in addition to becoming an author and columnist.
In 2011, he sought the Republican nomination for president, and surprised the political world by rising to the top of the polls on the strength of his 9-9-9 tax proposal.
The Rev. Kenneth L. Alexander, pastor of the west side Atlanta church, said his friend never lost his sense of humor despite several battles with cancer as he climbed to the top ranks of business and politics.
“No matter what Rev. Cain was going through, he usually didn’t let you see it on his face,” Alexander said in his eulogy. “He always smiled. He always had a joke that he thought was funny.”
“He had an abundant life,” Alexander added.
We will honor and remember Herman on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF PATRICIA BOSWORTH - APRIL 24, 1933 - APRIL 2, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Patricia Bosworth who died of COVID-19.
She gave up the stage for the writing life, publishing biographies of some famous friends and two powerful memoirs. She died of the coronavirus.
Patricia Bosworth, who gave up acting for the writing life, turning her knowledge of the theater into a series of biographies and mining her own extraordinary life for a pair of powerful memoirs, died on Thursday in Manhattan. She was 86.
Her stepdaughter, Fia Hatsav, said the cause was complications of pneumonia brought on by the coronavirus.
Ms. Bosworth had some success as an actress. She was admitted to the Actors Studio in its glory days, learning method acting alongside Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe. She won some important roles onstage and appeared alongside Audrey Hepburn on film.
But she always wanted to write, and she found material in the many friendships she had cultivated with luminaries in Hollywood, the theater world and elsewhere — Brando, Montgomery Clift and the photographer Diane Arbus among them.
She became a successful journalist as well, as an editor and writer for several publications. She was a contributing editor at Vanity Fair for many years.
Ms. Bosworth’s best subject, and the one that underlay most of her work, was her own eventful life. She explored it in “Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story” (1997), which centers on her charismatic father, a lawyer who defended two of the Hollywood Ten in the postwar anti-Communist hysteria and saw his career destroyed by the blacklist; and “The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan” (2017), about her coming-of-age and emergence as a writer.
Suicide haunted her. Her father, who had long abused barbiturates and alcohol, killed himself, on his second try, in 1959. And her beloved younger brother shot himself in his dorm room at Reed College in Oregon in 1953, tormented by depression and conflicted over his homosexuality.
The subjects of Ms. Bosworth’s biographies were either suicides (Arbus), survivors of a relative’s suicide (Jane Fonda) or flamboyantly self-destructive (Clift, Brando). She explained that writing these books was “one of the ways I coped with and tried to understand why the two men I loved most in the world had decided to kill themselves.”
In addition to her stepdaughter, Ms. Bosworth is survived by her partner, Douglas Schwalbe; a stepson, Léo Palumbo; and five step-grandchildren.
She taught literary nonfiction at Columbia University and Barnard College and for some years ran the Playwright-Directors Unit at the Actors Studio.
We will honor and remember Patricia on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF ARNIE ROBINSON JR. - APRIL 7, 1948 - DEC 1, 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us in honor and memory of Arnie Robinson, Jr., who died of COVID-19.
The fact Arnie Robinson learned to long jump using a discarded mattress in the driveway of his Paradise Hills home offered the first hint of his fiery drive. Winning a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal revealed his talent, focus and unflinching commitment.
Beyond the world-class ability, the global track and field fame, the pile of titles at the USA Outdoor Championships, the NCAA championships with San Diego State, the Pan American Games and more, Robinson’s legacy reverberates in San Diego because of a warming blend of humility and service in the shadows.
Robinson, the man who fought an aggressive brain tumor since 2005, died Tuesday morning, according to his son Paul. He was 72.
“His accomplishments, he didn’t wear them on his shoulder,” said Paul Robinson, who said his father had contracted COVID-19. “Leading through example, that’s who he was. He wasn’t about the noise.”
To understand the fiber of Robinson’s unassuming, sleeve-rolling being, dig into the things he didn’t talk about. Paul learned his father owned a gold medal when he was about 6 or 7. Coaches, administrators and friends marveled that he never discussed his enormous accomplishment, defying gravity and bicycling through space to go 27 feet, 4 3/4 inches at Olympic Stadium.
No Wheaties box awaited, like decathlete Bruce Jenner. No lucrative athletic and TV careers loomed, like sweet-swinging boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Robinson’s ’76 gold represented self-fulfillment, plain and brilliantly simple.
“Those days, they weren’t making much money,” said Bryan Kyle, a close family friend. “It was about heart and wanting to compete.”
Fellow Morse graduate Monique Henderson, a two-time gold medalist in the 4x400-meter relay, vividly recalled seeing Robinson at meet after meet as a kid. Even in relative anonymity, the two-time Olympic medalist — Robinson won bronze in 1972 — left an impression.
“I had no idea who the man was or what his accomplishments were,” Henderson told the Union-Tribune in 2018. “I just knew this man was making our meets as professional as he could. … He didn’t have anybody assisting him. You go to a track meet now and there are five guys in a tent running the timing system. It was just Arnie. The time he spent learning the system, it’s unbelievable.
“And Arnie didn’t charge any of the youth organizations a dime.”
The financial challenges of rising through the amateur track ranks failed to faze Robinson or derail his emerging dream. While navigating the track circuit through Europe, Robinson learned a teammate who lacked the money to secure a hotel room. Though Robinson had enough to grab a small room for himself, he decided to sleep in a park with his teammate.
Robinson’s riches came in the form of sweat equity and compassion.
“A very unique, beautiful mind,” Paul said.
Two years ago, Robinson was asked what he saw when looking at a photo of his winning jump, a moment of excellence frozen forever in time. Cancer and medication limited his ability to communicate, even then. Pride glimmered in his eyes.
Robinson flashed a rare moment of self-acknowledgment.
“The best in the world, that’s what I was,” he said.
We will honor and remember Arnie on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF CHRISTINE ALLDAY - MAY 2, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Christine Allday of Florida who died of COVID-19.
Christine Allday, 78, of Pensacola, FL peacefully left us for Heaven, surrounded by her family on Sunday, May 2, 2021 after a difficult battle with COVID-19.
Christine and her husband, Herman, have been prominent members of the Escambia County community for years. Mr. and Mrs. Allday were involved with the youth of Escambia County for decades taking school and sports photography.
She is survived by her husband, Herman Allday; sons, Scott Allday (Jennifer), Daryn Allday (Michelle); 3 grandchildren, Harper, Piper, and Cannon; nephew, Carey Christensen; nieces, Raeann Silvers, and Metta Christensen.
Please keep the Allday family in your thoughts as they deal with this difficult loss.
Christine will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.
We will honor and remember Christine on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF DOMENIC AMORE - OCTOBER 17, 1952 - MARCH 12, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Domenic Amore who died of COVID-19.
Domenic "Nick" Joseph Amore, 68, recently passed away after a courageous battle with COVID-19. Domenic was born in Washington, D.C., to the late Alphonso Amore and the late Helen Rice.
He spent his adult life in Miami, FL raising his children, Marc Adam, Brett Justin, Daniel Travis and Lauren Nicole with his wife of 41 years, Pamela Shane. He is also survived by his 3 siblings and their spouses, Gary and Judi Amore, Adele and Marty Wheeler, and Mike and Dawn Amore.
He was a successful businessman, he was the founder of Action Carpet & Tile with his brothers which operated from 1974 to 2001. Thereafter, he founded Pride Flooring & Home Décor where he shared a thriving business with his sons.
His children will continue in the family business where they will honor his legacy each day. Nick, as he was better known as, liked to simply be near the water, loved being a coach to his kids in all their sports activities, enjoyed playing poker, driving down to the keys, and spending time with his growing family – granddaughters Abigail Rose, Mia Italia and grandson Thomas James.
To all who had the pleasure of knowing him, he was a great man with a kind soul. He was truly a family man who will be deeply missed by all.
We will honor and remember Nick on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF ARTHUR "ARTY" FALK - AUGUST 9, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Arthur "Arty" Falk who died of COVID-19.
Arty Falk passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday, August 9, 2021 at 67 years young. He was adored by friends and family and consistently fostered an atmosphere of fun and laughter.
He had a positive influence on countless students during his 40+ years as an educator–in Brooklyn as a special education teacher and at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School as a science teacher, founder of the Five Star Magnet Program, and an evening school administrator.
Arty's dedication to education extended beyond the classroom and his two master's degrees. At PBGHS, he coached girls' basketball, loved announcing the football games, and led the Homecoming Parade Kazoo Band every year.
He immersed himself in volunteer work with organizations such as Relay for Life, Kayla Cares 4 Kids, and Junior Achievement. The Arty Falk Golf Classic will forever hold his name as a memory of his boundless efforts.
Arty's 30+ year struggle with cancer was an inspiration to many, as he maintained his joy for life and good spirits. He brought excitement and silliness to every occasion. From family vacations and holiday dinners to fantasy football drafts and New Year's Eve parties–each was made more memorable by his presence. Arty will be forever loved by his son, Michael, and daughter, Samantha.
We will honor and remember Arty on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF DEBORAH MARY BRUMMETT - MAY 3, 1954 - JANUARY 14, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Deborah Mary Brummett who died of COVID-19.
Deborah Mary Brummett, 66, passed into eternal life on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany from COVID-19 complications. Deborah was the sister of Christopher; and daughter of Betty and Arthur Raymond Brummett.
Debbie was born in Saratoga but she grew up with Christopher in Glens Falls. She was proud to say that she was a St. Mary's girl. After graduating from the Glens Falls High School in 1972, Deb attended the Glens Falls Hospital nursing program where she became a licensed practical nurse.
Several years were spent working at the hospital and other skilled nursing facilities. Her interest in personal growth prompted her to further her education and she became a registered nurse and a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Debbie had numerous achievements but her proudest moment was the birth of her daughter Mariel Rose. Debbie relocated to Albany where she worked at St. Peter's Hospital and the Albany Medical Center in the Emergency Room, Critical Care, and Cardiac units. Additionally, Debbie worked as a private duty nurse by patient request. She lived with strong convictions, an iron-will and a deep love of family.
While working, Debbie raised Mariel and was the primary caregiver of Christopher, who passed from Gliobastoma, and Betty, who passed from Alzheimer's disease complications.
She worked until the day of her illness as a nurse supervisor at the Riverside Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. Debbie loved "her girls," the staff, the Sisters, and the residents who were under her care. Debbie's interests were many. She was a talented seamstress and singer, a passionate reader and gardener, and she was an effective researcher.
She was intelligent, adventurous, fun-seeking and one who loved solo road trips. A memorable journey took her across prairies and through reservations where she obtained first-hand knowledge of Native American culture. Debbie was inspired by her own Choctaw descent and rich Irish heritage.
She adored animals, farmland, simple pleasures and traditions. Feral cats were fed and lovingly named, and she delighted in seasonal visits to u-pick orchards with Mariel and friends. Debbie canned pickles, jams and salsa and baked homemade cookies as special gifts for patients and friends. Debbie's heart had no boundaries. She gave of herself her entire life.
We will honor and remember Deborah on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF JOSEPH "COACH" RADISICH - MARCH 25, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and in memory of Joseph "Coach" Radisich who died of COVID-19.
Joseph Radisich Sr., a 2006 inductee into the San Pedro Sportswalk of Fame who distinguished himself as a high school football coach at Mary Star of the Sea in the 1970s and 1980s, died March 25, after testing positive for COVID-19, his son, Joseph, said. He was 84.
“Last week he got sick and was in bad shape sweating and hallucinating,” Joseph Jr. said. “He had been having health problems. We called 911.”
He said his father was hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19. Joseph, a former Los Angeles harbor commissioner, said he has put himself in self-quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Radisich was well known in the coaching community, having worked at Santa Fe Springs St. Paul, Bellflower St. John Bosco and San Pedro High, among others. He was head coach at Mary Star for 11 years.
Former San Pedro coach Mike Walsh played for Radisich for one year at the now closed Fermin Lasuen High in San Pedro.
“He’s a great man,” Walsh said. “He was hard-nosed. He spent a million hours preparing. You’d run through a brick wall for him. He was that kind of a coach.”
Among the players Radisich coached was former NFL tight end Tim Wrightman, who wrote on Facebook, “Today, I lost my ‘coach,’ my mentor and a father figure during the most formative years of my life. He didn’t just coach kids how to play football, but how to be men.”
We will honor and remember Joseph on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF CLARK ALLEN - JULY 22, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Clark R. Allen who died of COVID-19.
Clark R. Allen of Lantana, Florida, passed away on July 22, 2021, at the age of 84. Clark died due to COVID-19. He was infected by someone who chose to not get vaccinated and his death was preventable. It is the wish of his family that everyone get vaccinated in order to prevent further death, sickness and heartbreak.
Clark was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1937, the son of Carroll and Edna Allen. He graduated from North Hunterdon Regional High School where he was the captain of the track and field team, president of both the Hi-Y and Key club, and member of the baseball team. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Science from Springfield College where he served as editor-in-chief of both the college newspaper and yearbook. He was also the general manager of the college radio station and a member of both the track and cross country teams.
During college, Clark participated in the Marine Corps Platoon Leadership program and he served as an officer for three years once he graduated. After a brief stint as a sports reporter for the Washington Post, he began his life-long career in advertising and marketing for consumer packaged goods. Clark was the founding member of the Clinton, New Jersey First Aid & Rescue Squad.
He was a certified EMT and EMT trainer. Shortly before retirement, Clark began his "second career" in Greenwich, CT as a baseball umpire and football official at high school and youth league levels. Clark loved all things sports and relished his "second career."
In Palm Beach County, he worked as precinct clerk, then field clerk, and supervisor in elections. Clark firmly believed in everyone's right to vote and in the democratic process. It cannot go unmentioned how much Clark enjoyed animals. He regularly sent his children pictures of wild and tame animals he met and even named.
We will honor and remember Clark on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF ALICIA ARIAS - OCTOBER 28, 1950 - APRIL 26, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Alicia Arias who died of COVID-19.
Alicia Arias was born on October 28th, 1950 in Pereira, Colombia. She is survived by her husband, Gustavo Acevedo; and her six children, Wilmar, Sandra, Edgar, Diego, Patricia, and Laura. She had many grandchildren that loved her dearly.
Alicia Arias passed away on April 26th, 2021 at 70 years old due to Covid, she fought as much as she could, but she was suffering, and she lost her battle.
God extended his hands out, and took her with him at 4:02pm that exact day. She passed the heaven gates and now she is with her mother, Laura Rios, and her father, Ruben Arias.
May she rest in paradise, you will forever be in our hearts, mind and souls.
We love you so much Ma.
We will honor and remember Alicia on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF STUART & ADRIAN BAKER - MARCH 29, 2020, DIED 6 MIN APART
This Memorial Square is in honor and in memory of Stuart & Adrian Baker who died of COVID-19.
Before just a few weeks ago, Stuart and Adrian Baker were perfectly healthy.
The inseparable couple had been married for more than 51 years and were living in Boynton Beach, Florida, in retirement. Neither of them had any serious health conditions. Then in mid-March, they started feeling ill.
On Sunday, they both died -- six minutes apart -- due to complications from Covid-19, their son Buddy Baker said.
Stuart Baker was 74. Adrian Baker was 72.
IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM E. BRYSON, SR. - 2/27/1928 - 9/2/2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from a daughter in honor of her father, William E. Bryson, Sr., who died of COVID-19. She writes:
My Dad was born on 2/27/1928. He was 92 when he passed. He had a goal set for 100. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA but lived most of his life in Maryland.
He was a 20 year veteran of the United States Air Force.
He loved camping, hiking, and the outdoors.
He especially loved his three children and seven grandchildren as well as his beloved partner of 38 years Patricia.
He was kind, gentle and everyone who met him loved him. He was truly the word definition of a gentleman.
He loved hoagies, Birch beer and angel food cake smothered in strawberries and whipped cream.
He is missed so much by all who knew and loved him.
We will honor and remember William on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF ANGELO DIVIRGILIO - 1962 - 2021
This Memorial Square comes to us from Olivia in honor and memory of her dad, Angelo Divirgilio, who died of COVID-19.
Angelo was a father to Olivia and Brooke. Pop-pop of 3 to Lucas, Addison and Avery. Husband to his beloved wife, Donna, of 35 years.
His favorite color is red. He loved hunting and fishing and spending time with his grandkids. His favorite sport was the New York Jets!
His laugh and smile were so infectious he would light up the room.
He is forever missed everyday.
We will honor and remember Angelo on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF WILMARD "WIL" SANTIAGO - OCTOBER 22, 1954 - APRIL 15, 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Wiandy in honor and in memory of her brother, Wilmard Santiago, who died of COVID-19, in the Bronx, NY.
We will honor and remember Wilmard on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF YOLANDA VIERNA - JUNE 30, 1936 - AUGUST 17, 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Jerry in California in honor and memory of his mom, Yolanda Vierna, who died of COVID-19.
Jerry writes: Yolanda Vierna (6/30/1936-8/17/2020) was a Mexican immigrant who came here with her Sister Olivia and Mother Aurora in the late 50’s.
IN MEMORY OF EUGENE FORTI - MARCH 6, 1924 - MAY 24, 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Mary Kay in honor and memory of her father, Eugene Forti, who died of COVID-19.
Mary Kay writes: Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt thanks for this project. It is an extraordinary gesture that means a lot to me.
My dad, Eugene Forti, was born on March 6, 1924. His avoidable death due to COVID occurred on May 24, 2020.
I also find myself reminiscing about some of the details of his career as first a mechanic and then a car salesman at some of El Paso’s premier dealerships.
Dad never met a stranger and was able to sell a car to anyone that walked on to the lot! For those reasons, year after year he was named top salesman.
Of course, I recall our daily lives, our home, Dad’s gardening skills, and his love for animals. But mostly I think about how proud he was of his family and how he doted on my mother, his wife of 68 years.
At the end of the day I just want you to know that my dad is much more than a statistic. As Madeleine so eloquently put it, those who succumbed to COVID are “not numbers, they are people who died and they deserve to be remembered."
Dad was a war hero, a husband of 68 years to a woman he adored, who worked his fingers to the bone supporting his family. He was as proud of us as we were of him.
For all of these reasons, I would like to include my dad in this project.
Attached, please find the photo that I would like you to include in the quilt.
We will honor and remember Eugene on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF EVELYN SOPHIE CHRISTINE HENSGEN - 05/15/49 - 04/17/20
This Memorial Square comes to us from Donna in honor and in memory of her mother, Evelyn Sophie Christine Hensgen, who died of COVID-19.
First, thank you for you dedication and hard work and how you are touching so many lives. I would like to add my Beautiful Mom to the Quilt.
Her Name is Evelyn Sophie Christine Hensgen. Dates: 05/15/49 to 04/17/20
Evelyn was a beautiful loving Mother, Wife, Godmother, Grandmot
Evelyn worked in the HVAC for over 35 years. She loved sunflowers and lighthouses. Yellow or Purple were her favorite colors. She loved to read and watch the older shows.
But most of all she loved her family.
Thank you again.
We will honor and remember Evelyn on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF DANIEL JOHN PRIMICH - MAY 1, 2021 - MAY 18, 1953
This Memorial Square comes to us from Dorothy in honor and memory of her husband, Daniel John Primich, who died of COVID-19. Dorothy writes:
Daniel John Primich of Plainsboro, New Jersey passed away Saturday May 1, 2021. Born in Dover, New Jersey, May 18, 1953. Dan grew up in Mount Hope, New Jersey where he lived until he went to the University of New Haven where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He loved playing his guitars, sailing his catamaran, bicycling, animals and rarely missed a day at the gym.
He loved life and everyone loved him. He touched so many people’s lives and we are all better to have known him. His work ethic, genuine personality, and sense of humor were an important part of his life. He was recently retired from United Airlines, formerly Continental Airlines at Newark Airport where he worked for 24 years.
Prior to that he worked for Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in Upper Montclair, New Jersey for 20 years. Beloved husband of Dorothy Primich for over 30 years, father of Lindsey Rainier (Steven) and Daniel W. Primich (Kate) and his four grandchildren of Jackson, Wyoming. He is also survived by his siblings Maryann LaPiana of West Long Branch, New Jersey, her daughter Michele Falco (James) and their son and her son Matthew LaPiana and his children. Charles Primich of Park City, Utah, his wife Karen and their daughter Karlie Primich and his brother Michael Primich and his partner and his children Michael D. Primich (Michele) and their children, Lisa Primich (Samuel Altstein) and their children and Stephen Primich (Angie). He is predeceased by his mother Mary Ihnat and his father Charles Primich.
He was a Dallas Cowboy fan and closely followed the teams of his daughter and son’s schools. The University of Oregon Ducks for Lindsey and Oregon State University Beavers for Daniel. He was a member of the first football team at The University of New Haven. The Chargers. Also the cat in the picture, Bopper, joined Dan May 25, 2021. He was 16.
We will honor and remember Dan on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF ANGELO PARLEGRECO, JR - 1948 - 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Kim in honor and memory of her husband, Angelo Parlegreco, who died of COVID-19.
Kim writes: Angelo Parlegreco 1948-2020 passed away on April 22, 2020 of COVID.
Angelo was a great husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother in law and son in law any mother would love to have and a great Uncle to many.
There was nothing Angelo loved more than life. Angelo looked forward to trips to Aruba with his family and friends and enjoyed fishing and cutting hair which was two of his favorite hobbies.
Angelo was always the life of every party and always had a smile on his face that lite up the room. He was always full of quirky quotes that we will cherish forever.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow!
Learn if you were to live forever!
Learn from yesterday
Live for today
Hope for tomorrow
Angelo was very unique he will truly be missed With the “E.”
We will honor and remember Angelo on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF JAMES "JAMIE" TROTTER - 27th DECEMBER, 1947 - JUNE 15, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of James "Jamie" Trotter who died of COVID-19.
As a registered nurse in Australia, Virginia White has often comforted patients in their final moments. Thousands of miles away, amid a global pandemic, another health care professional in Chicago did the same for White’s father.
James Trotter died June 15 from complications related to COVID-19. He was 71.
His family described him as compassionate and intelligent with a playful sense of humor. White said they had been losing her father slowly for years after a devastating fall in April 2013 caused permanent damage. Trotter spent the final years of his life at Birchwood Plaza, a nursing and rehab facility in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.
Though his short-term memory was diminished, White said her father was more clear about some of the old times when she and her brother, William, were growing up in Northbrook.
The family traveled in its RV trailer, with Trotter especially fond of camping at state parks. He cheered on his daughter in soccer and was a devoted scoutmaster for his son, an Eagle Scout.
“He was the one who tucked me in bed at night and helped me with my prayers,” his daughter said. “He was very supportive and loving.”
Trotter, who was known as “Jamie,” was born in Manila, Philippines, in 1947. His parents, originally from the states, moved back to California when he was 2. The family of five, including two sisters, moved to a small town in Idaho when he was 8.
Their camping trips would foster Trotter’s lifelong love of the outdoors. As a child, he also was musically inclined. Trotter was self-taught in guitar and piano. He and a sister played in a band together.
He was on the debate team at Pocatello High School and worked in a grocery store bakery. His family didn’t have much money, but he obtained a work study scholarship and loans to attend Grinnell College, a small liberal arts and sciences school in Iowa.
It was during his sophomore year that he met his future wife. Jane Coleman Trotter was a freshman. She said the two, introduced through mutual friends, shared common interests.
“I was intrigued because he was a philosophy major,” she said. “He had cool friends and a whimsical sense of humor and I liked that.”
The two were engaged her junior year. It was the turbulent time during the Vietnam War. They knew Trotter, despite his poor eyesight, would be drafted once his college deferment ended.
“That put a whole new kind of pressure on what we were going to do,” she said.
He received a bachelor’s degree in 1971 and went into the military in the 15th Engineer Battalion, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington.
They wed Dec. 21, 1971, in a simple “but meaningful” ceremony, Coleman Trotter said. She wore a dress similar to one in a mural her artist grandfather had painted in her family cabin. Her bridesmaids carried wild flowers.
She joined her husband in January 1972 after he completed basic training.
While at Fort Lewis, James Trotter attended night school and earned a master’s degree in human resources management in 1974.
They were in Washington during Watergate. Similar to the war, it also played a defining role in the couple’s future. Coleman Trotter said her husband was approved to become an officer, but when his direct commission stalled in Congress due to the Watergate fallout, they left military life behind and headed to Chicago where her parents lived.
James Trotter continued with his education, receiving an MBA in finance and accounting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 1978.
A couple of months later, their first child, William, was born. Virginia, came along in January 1981. “He was such a good dad,” Coleman Trotter said. “When the kids were born, he was so filled with love that he composed a piece of music, a melody, for each of them.”
She said Trotter had a natural curiosity about life and enjoyed museums, art galleries and the Chicago Botanic Garden. He spent countless hours tending to his backyard garden and made up silly songs and played good-natured practical jokes.
For his career, Trotter was part of Chicago’s banking industry during a time of technology-driven innovation in the profession.
He worked for Continental National Bank, American National Bank and the Bank Administration Institute, where he was a director. But the majority of his career was spent at the consultancy firm that became Accenture.
His work included travels to Australia, Japan, Spain and Prague not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But, according to his family, Trotter was not defined by his career.
“Having family time was so important to him,” White said.
Her father told her about his trips, including to Australia and how the Jacaranda trees bloom in November.
Nearly 20 years ago, she went to Australia to study abroad and decided to make it her home. She said her parents encouraged their children’s independence. Her brother lives in the U.K.
Before her father’s death, a nurse arranged for a video call, and White was able to tell him one last time how much she loved him.
“I’ve held other people’s hands when they passed because no one could be there for them and it really broke my heart to think of someone else doing that for him,” she said.
We will honor and remember Jamie on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF ANNIE GLENN - FEB. 17, 1920 - MAY 19, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Annie Glenn who died of COVID-19.
Annie Glenn, who was thrust into the spotlight in 1962 when her husband became the first American to orbit the Earth, but who shied away from the media attention because of a severe stutter that later moved her to advocate for people with speech disorders, died Tuesday. She was 100.
Glenn died of complications from COVID-19 at a nursing home near St. Paul, Minn., where she had moved in recent years to be near her daughter, said Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. NASA later announced her death.
Her husband, John Glenn, died in 2016 after an extraordinary life that also included breaking the transcontinental speed record and serving as a Democratic U.S. senator from Ohio. He and Annie were married for 73 years.
The relationship was “the stuff of fairy tales and one of the great love stories of all time,” Dale Butland, the senator’s former speechwriter and chief of staff, said in a written statement Tuesday.
“During WW II, the Korean war and two flights into outer space, Annie patiently waited for John to come home,” Butland said. “Since December of 2016, John’s been patiently waiting for his Annie. Today, they’re both where they always wanted to be: together — for all eternity.”
At age 53 in 1973, she enrolled in an intensive program at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College, now Hollins University, in Roanoke, Va., that gave her the skills to control her stutter and to speak in public.
By the time 77-year-old John Glenn returned to space in 1998 aboard the space shuttle Discovery, she showed she had become comfortable in her public role when she acknowledged she had reservations about her husband’s newest flight.
Her career in advocacy included service on the boards of child abuse and speech and hearing organizations. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Assn.'s Annie Glenn Award was created to honor people who overcome a communication disorder.
“Annie will be remembered for her work to lift others up, including those who shared her struggles with communicative disorders,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said in a written statement.
We will honor and remember Annie on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF STEPHEN SHERMAN - 5/16/43 - 3/29/2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Paula in honor and memory of her husband, Stephen Sherman, who died of COVID-19.
Another person lost to COVID-19.
Delray Beach, FL
FLORIDA THANKS THE ESSENTIAL WORKERS
This Memorial Square was made by Joan of California to honor all the Essential Workers in Florida who sacrificed their own health for all of us.
A jarring reality check is taking place in intensive care units across the country as thousands of COVID-19 positive patients, nearly all of them unvaccinated, are streaming into hospitals in need of care.
This is particularly true in Florida, where virus-related hospitalizations have skyrocketed in recent weeks. The situation has escalated rapidly, now nearing peak levels, with nearly 7,900 patients hospitalized with the virus across the state, up by more than 320% in the last month, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It feels like it's an impending storm ... there's no off ramp to this getting worse," Dr. David Wein, an emergency room physician at Tampa General Hospital in Florida, told ABC News on Wednesday.
It was just six weeks ago that some of the team thought they may be out of the woods, with metrics steadily trending down across the country.
However, virus-related hospitalization levels are now nearing peak levels.
"We're getting to numbers that were as high as last summer. In early July, we were down to 12 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and today we have 80. So we're really just seeing an escalation over a short span of time," Duggan said.
However, said Duggan, "we're seeing people who are recovering now very regretful that they didn't get the vaccination in the first place."
Many of the patients coming to the hospital are already quite ill when they arrive, said Wein.
"Unfortunately, we're seeing people who are coming in days, or several days, into their disease and sicker, with difficulty breathing, needing to be admitted to the hospital. So it feels more like that winter surge that we had," Wein said, adding that a number of these patients end up on ventilators.
"This is heartbreaking because all this could have been avoided, this is unnecessary human suffering that we are witnessing right now," Dr. Seetha Lakshmi, the medical director of the Global Emerging Diseases Institute at Tampa General Hospital, told ABC News.
We will honor and thank Florida's Essential Workers on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF JANET MARXKOS - JANUARY 15, 1955 - DECEMBER 2, 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Marianne in Missouri in honor and memory of her sister, Janet Marxkos, who died of COVID-19.
Marianne writes: While perusing some old People Magazines, I came across the article about your Covid Memorial Quilt project. Having lost my sister to this horrific disease, I was really touched by your commitment.
Enclosed please find a picture of my sister, Janet Marxkors, with her beloved fur babies. If you are still working on this project, I will appreciate your inclusion of this photo on the quilt. Her date of birth was January 13, 1955. She died on December 2, 2020, at the age of 55. I applaud your efforts. God bless you,
We will honor and remember Janet on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF PHILMAN WILLIAMS - 12/12/1949 - 04/01/2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Philman Williams who died of COVID-19.
For the last couple of months, the lobby of the 777 N. Michigan Ave. building has contained a series of poster boards that quickly filled with handwritten messages such as, and there were hundreds from which to choose, “A good man. You will be missed by many” and “You will always be in our hearts” and “You were always a beacon of civility, class and coolness.”
These outpourings of emotion, goodbyes and gratitude were written by the 700-some residents of the condominium building and were the result of the death of Philman Williams, who had worked as a doorman at 777 for a decade. A photo of his smiling face was also part of each poster board and people could be seen smiling in response, in memory.
“He was very other-oriented,” said longtime building resident Roberta Shwartz. “We remember how concerned he was when his son was having heart troubles. Also, during the time my husband Leslie was ill, he was constantly asking me how he was doing. When he recovered, Phil was joyful, as if Leslie had been a member of his own family.”
Williams was one of the early casualties of COVID-19, dying in Jackson Park Hospital on April 1. He was 70.
Born on Dec. 12, 1949, to parents who had moved to Chicago from Alabama, Williams was raised in various neighborhoods on the South Side. He attended Roosevelt High School and while later enrolled at the University of Illinois at Chicago he met and fell in love with a student named Linda Bronson.
“I was so shy,” she said. “He was such a fun-loving person that he brought me out of my shell.”
They were married Aug. 23, 1975, at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and settled into domestic life in a one-bedroom apartment in the South Commons apartments and both started their careers in the banking industry.
With the arrival of the first child, a girl named Alexis, the family moved to a larger apartment in nearby Lake Meadows, which soon also welcomed a boy named Eric.
Williams would work for many years in various capacities for First National Bank and ADP and later in the security business. He came to 777 in 2010 as a doorman. He was made for the job.
In his private life he was known by the nickname “Partyman” but at 777 he was so quietly gregarious and efficient that he was soon dubbed, by more than one resident and many neighbors, “The Mayor of Michigan Avenue.”
Every pleasant day and even some not so pleasant would find him outside on the sidewalk smiling and greeting pedestrians that comprised a constant parade down the avenue.
“Every morning when I walked by the building on my way to work, his was a welcoming friendly wave and smile,” said Christie Hefner, a business executive, activist, and philanthropist.
Williams was also admired by his colleagues.
Doorman Mike Keenon said, “He was one of the nicest guys I have ever worked with and he always had a smile on his face. A great doorman but an even greater person.”
Another doorman, Johnny Davis, said, “He was always in a good mood. He liked to whistle, old show tunes and the theme songs from TV game shows. He was so joyful that I would join in.”
Williams loved to travel. Barbados was a favorite destination and he had visited Alaska and Cuba in recent years.
“When we were married most of our trips were by car since I was not very fond of flying at the time,” said his ex-wife, recently retired after a long career at BMO Harris. “After our divorce he really started to travel, and I have a houseful of souvenirs that he would send or bring to me after his trips.”
The couple had divorced after 10 years of marriage but remained on such friendly terms than “we never had to have any kind of legal agreement about visitation or custody with the children,” she says. “He was always coming over to my place to see the kids.”
“I have wonderful memories of being with my dad,” says daughter Alexis Williams-Lee, now a married middle school Spanish teacher in Maryland; she and her husband, also a teacher, have five young boys. “There were those take your daughters to work days for me, going to softball games with him, his coming to all the events my brother and I participated in and going out for bowling at Skyway Lanes. In recent years he was just crazy about our boys, his grandchildren.”
Weeks before his death Williams had celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
He had what he said was a “great time in a city jammed with people, all ages and types,” but after returning to work he began to feel ill and checked himself into Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Results of various tests were negative, and he was out in two days and back at 777.
Still, the next night his condition worsened, and he was taken by ambulance from his South Side home to Jackson Park Hospital where he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and placed in the intensive care unit. He would spend more than a week there as his family tried energetically but unsuccessfully to move him elsewhere.
“It was a frustrating time for us,” said his daughter. “Not only was his doctor connected to another hospital, but we were hearing some disturbing things about Jackson Park.”
Indeed, there were reports in newspapers and on television detailing complaints from its employees about the hospital’s lack of sufficient personal protective equipment. There were also stories that such shortages were causing some nurses to avoiding entering patients’ rooms.
“It was a terrible situation,” said Williams-Lee. “It was hard for us to even get through on the phone. My mom even walked in front of the hospital with a poster in protest.”
Williams died in the hospital and within weeks he was among the many deceased subjects of a chilling and sad early May story from ProPublica.Illinois. Titled “The First 100,” it detailed how, of the first 100 of the city’s COVID-19 victims, 70 were Black, noting of these people that “their lives were rich, and their deaths cannot be dismissed as inevitable. Immediate factors could — and should — have been addressed.”
Williams’ death hit his friends and family hard, a family that also included another son, John John, from a later relationship, and a sixth grandson. They are all planning a memorial service when large gatherings are again allowed.
Williams’ son Eric, recently retired after a decades long career in the Navy, was the man responsible for making and placing the poster boards that dotted the 777 lobby. That is where, in time, there another memorial celebration is planned for Williams. It is sure to be jammed.
We will honor and remember Philman on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF AQUASHA MOORE - PASSED JUNE 3, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Aquasha Moore who died of COVID-19.
Aquasha Moore and Darious Dorsey agreed if their baby was a boy, the father would get to name him. If they had a girl, naming rights went to Moore.
In early May, in a Chicago courtyard adorned with pink and blue balloons, well-wishers sided with Team Girl or Team Boy by picking a cupcake with pink or blue frosting. When the young couple broke into their cupcakes and saw the circles of pink inside, a pregnant Moore jumped up and down with excitement.
She named the baby A’zariah Akira Dorsey.
On May 29, while hospitalized with symptoms related to COVID-19 and liver problems, Moore, 18, gave birth two months early. A’zariah did not survive. Five days later, Moore died of autoimmune hepatitis with novel coronavirus infection listed as a contributing factor, according to the Cook County medical examiner.
Moore, who was finishing her senior year at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, leaves behind heartbroken family and friends mourning a double loss at a time that they should have been celebrating.
Dorsey, her boyfriend, said the day his baby died was also the last time that Moore was responsive. The new mom had difficulty holding A’zariah because she was on dialysis, but Dorsey and Moore’s family were able to show her A’zariah.
“She just wanted to see the baby,” Dorsey said. “I’m really glad she got to. ... It’s stuff like that, had me like, ‘OK, I am at peace.’ ”
Until the end, loved ones believed that she would pull through, even though, they said, Moore was often sick as a child and dealt with serious health problems earlier in high school.
Her best friend, LaDerricka Lee, was 7 and Moore was 8 when the girls met in Wentworth Gardens.
“She was my first friend,” Lee said. “She knew everything about me; I knew everything about her.”
They had nearly all their classes together, and when Moore was in the hospital or homebound, Lee would bring her schoolwork and fill her in on lessons. Moore sometimes complained about her health problems, but Lee said her friend managed to mostly remain positive.
Moore liked tacos, nachos and pizza, slow music, dancing and English class. When she recently bought her first car after saving for months, Lee taught her how to drive.
“She was smart, a real nice person and a bright person,” Lee said.
Moore and Dorsey connected last September through a mutual friend. He loved her strength, intelligence, independence and spirituality.
She worked at Mariano’s and was saving money for the arrival of their child.
“I’m talking about, the age she is, she don’t need nobody helping. She did everything on her own,” Dorsey said.
But, he said, her spirituality is what really got him. She was always praying, especially for a healthy baby.
“I’m not a Christian, but I believe in God, my grandmother was a Christian,” Dorsey said. “If you have a healthy relationship and you believe in God, anything can happen. She believed in God.”
Dorsey said he was only 3 when he lost his father to gun violence and so it was important to him that his own child have both parents in her life.
Moore was planning to move in with him, and he was getting a room ready to have her and a baby there.
On May 29, Dorsey woke up to a phone call from the doctor: The baby didn’t make it. Dorsey rushed to the hospital.
“When I was holding her, it was like she was alive to me. I wanted to take her home so bad,” Dorsey said. “She was so pretty. I was crying so bad, I couldn’t even hardly hold her.”
Moore, whose first name was also spelled A’quasha, died days later on June 3.
Even from her hospital bed, Moore did her schoolwork, determined to graduate and go on to Malcolm X College to become a nurse. She was focused on that and planning her baby shower, friends say.
During Dunbar’s virtual graduation ceremony, Principal Gerald Morrow spoke.
“We’d like to take this time to acknowledge one of our seniors, Aquasha Moore, who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Morrow said. “We will always remember her and we will acknowledge her today as well as a graduate of the 2020 class of DVA. As we say, ‘Dunbar Strong.’ ”
Morrow asked for a moment of silence while the screen displayed Moore’s photo in yellow cap and gown and the words “in loving memory.”
In tribute, Dorsey had Moore’s face, the baby’s footprints, and both of their names tattooed on his arm.
We will honor and remember Aquasha on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF LYNIKA STROZIER - PASSED ON JUNE 7, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Lynika Strozier who died of COVID-19.
Lynika Strozier was an accomplished woman of science in Chicago — a researcher in the DNA lab at the Field Museum with masters degrees in sciences from two Chicago universities. She was exacting in her lab work, but more than that, there was hardly a person at the Field Museum who didn’t know her.
“This is a big, big place,” said head of botanical collections Matt von Konrat, her supervisor for more than a decade at the Field. “And she would walk through the halls, with her long stride, and always, always, a smile and hello for everyone. For all of us, for strangers, it didn’t matter.”
Strozier, of Chicago, died June 7 from complications of the coronavirus; her death was announced by the Field Museum on Twitter on June 10. She was 35.
Strozier came to the Field Museum in 2009 as an intern.
“She was just so good, so dedicated, that I hired her,” von Konrat said. She worked as a research assistant at the museum and also went back to school, earning a masters in biology from Loyola University and a masters in science education from University of Illinois at Chicago, both completed in 2018.
“More or less at the same time, if you can imagine the pressure,” he said.
In her work in the Pritzker DNA Lab, Strozier was “a perfectionist,” von Konrat said. Imagine working with a process like following a recipe, with the recipe needing to be done just right, over and over, or the results won’t be accurate.
“The work can be frustrating, it can be tedious, and she was determined to get it right,” he said. She would work long hours when necessary. Recently she worked on extracting DNA from plants, sometimes tiny plants, “the size of an eyelash,” von Konrat said. Or sometimes the specimens would be dried plants, decades old.
"I told her she had hands of gold," von Konrat said. "She would always manage it."
Lab work doesn’t always equate with personality but Strozier had an infectious energy “and would make time for anyone.” She became involved with mentoring students and summer interns who came to the Field, first informally and then, von Konrat said, more officially. “We came to rely on her for that.”
As the Field reached out to young participants from diverse backgrounds, he said, “it was really important to those students that they could see someone they could relate to.”
For all of her work in the lab, it was Strozier’s work with people that made the greatest impression.
She realized her accomplishments despite some serious challenges.
Strozier was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1984 and moved with her mother to Chicago when she was 6 months old. According to a 2012 story about Strozier in the Tribune, she went to live with her grandmother Sharon Wright when she was 6 because of her mother’s drug addiction, and when she was 8 was diagnosed with learning disabilities so profound that “when she read aloud, it was in such a halting manner that it sometimes sounded like she was gasping for breath.”
Sushma Reddy was Strozier’s faculty adviser when she was getting her masters at Loyola University.
“Her grandmother was her champion,” Reddy said Tuesday. “It was her grandmother who pushed her through.”
The learning disability remained a struggle for Strozier years later but she would beat it through simple hard work. Reddy remembers how she once failed a class in bio statistics, a class that would be hard for anyone. “And she came to me and said, ‘Oh my god, I’ve come so far but I can’t do it.' ”
But she turned around and got top grades from there, Reddy said. “She fell hard and she got up hard.”
Reddy said she also wanted to emphasize “what a Chicago story Lynika was.”
One, for the background she came from and the opportunities she created for herself. And two, for the local breadth of her STEM experience: In addition to the two master degrees, Strozier got a bachelor’s degree in biology from Dominican University in 2011, had an internship at Truman College in 2007 and DePaul in 2008, contributed as a lab coordinator at the School of Art Institute since 2018 and, most recently, realized her dream of becoming a college science teacher, serving as an adjunct instructor at Malcolm X College.
To have that dream taken away, and to have died just as she had a classroom of her own, Reddy said, “is so tragic. She was a lesson to all of us in academics.”
In an internal statement to Field staff June 8, museum President Richard Lariviere called Strozier’s death a “devastating loss” both to her own family and “her Museum family, and all who knew Lynika.”
“Lynika was just one of those people,” von Konrat said. “She was an inspiration. She touched the hearts of so many people.”
We will honor and remember Lynika on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF LEE FIERRO - FEBRUARY 13, 1929 - APRIL 5, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Lee Fierro who died of COVID-19.
Lee Fierro, whose acting and directing career spanned 70 years, died on April 5 in Ohio of complications from Covid-19. She was 91.
Her decision to pursue an acting career took root at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn. A shy student, the opportunity to take on a new persona and stand before an audience infected her with the call of the stage.
She pursued her passion, studying with Andre Jilinsky at the Jalonge Theater School in New York city, where she had been born and raised, and later met and married her first husband, Marvin Stephens.
Lee and Marvin moved to the Philadelphia suburbs to study with Jasper Dieter. At the small but renowned Hedgerow Repertory Theater, in Rose Valley, Pa., she dug into the dramatic roles of Arthur Miller, Bernard Shaw, Eugene O’Neill and Henrik Ibsen.
As Lee’s family grew to include four children, she shared her talents at the nearby school in Rose Valley, teaching dance, drama, and inspiring many students with her creativity.
Lee and her second husband, Bernard Fierro, with by then five children, moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1969 where together they built a home. Lee coached Islanders in natural childbirth and was a vanguard in convincing the Vineyard hospital to accept midwives and coaches in the birth process.
In the summer of 1974 she auditioned for a role in Jaws, with some reluctance. She was offered role of Mrs. Kintner but turned it down because of the character’s heavy use of curse words. The screenwriters rewrote the script for her, which she then accepted. That iconic performance, including the famous slap of Chief Brody, played by Roy Scheider, gained her loyal fans from all over the world who continue to this day.
Lee was known and loved on the Vineyard for her 40 years with the Island Theater Workshop. As associate artistic director and later artistic director, she worked with more than 1,000 students in children’s theatre during summers and the Apprentice Players in the off-season. Year after year she penned scripts and composed lyrics for the students, always careful that each child had a speaking role. Her plays delved into serious historical issues that encouraged the students to understand other lives and times.
After her death, many of her past students recalled her profound influence on them.
She acted in more than 100 plays ranging from Much Ado About Nothing and The Madwoman of Chaillot, to Medea and Talking With.
And while Lee loved acting, she found her greatest calling and satisfaction as a director. She enjoyed imparting her experience and training to other actors, challenging and supporting them, including those new to theatre, to reach within and explore new areas of their emotional and psychological selves. Her unusual approach with young and old alike had a lasting impact on those she directed.
Aside from the theatre, her other passion was her favorite hobby: singing. She composed many songs during her career and for decades was a devoted member of the Grace Church Choir and the Martha’s Vineyard Chorus.
In June 2017, she moved to an assisted living community in Cleveland, Ohio. Although she hated leaving her beloved Island, she spent her final three years enjoying family.
She will be remembered always by her family.
We will honor and remember Lee on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF CAROL JOAN SUTTON - DECEMBER 3, 1944 - DECEMBER 10, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Carol Joan Sutton who died of COVID-19.
Ms. Sutton brought characters to life on the stage, on television and in movies like “Steel Magnolias.” She also mentored young people in her local theater community. She died of complications of Covid-19.
Carol Sutton, an actress who was featured in films like “Steel Magnolias,” “The Big Easy” and “The Pelican Brief,” and who was devoted to the theater community in her native New Orleans, where she was a fixture on the city’s stages for a half-century, died on Thursday at Touro Infirmary there. She was 76.
The cause was complications of Covid-19, her sister, Adrienne Jopes, said.
As an actress, Ms. Sutton had an expansive oeuvre, bringing characters to life on the stage, in the movies and on television. But her many roles were not confined to acting: She also spent decades doing social work for Total Community Action, an organization that assists low-income families to help reduce poverty in New Orleans. And she was a beloved figure in her local theater scene — in part because she never left.
“I never wanted to go to L.A. or New York,” she told her friend Tommye Myrick, a director, writer and producer, in an interview last year. “In those places, there were hundreds of people trying to do the same things I wanted to do. If I wanted to get onstage or get in a movie, I was able to do that right here.”
LaToya Cantrell, the mayor of New Orleans, said in a statement on Friday that Ms. Sutton was “practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades.” The actress was also lauded by luminaries in the worlds of film and theater, including Ava DuVernay, the award-winning writer, producer and film director.
Friends and relatives of Ms. Sutton’s said she was deeply rooted in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans, where she grew up, and was not much altered by fame.
“She was not a celebrity,” Ms. Myrick said. “But she was treated as royalty, because she was.”
Ms. Sutton dedicated herself to helping young people, said her sister, Ms. Jopes, 73. “She would take them under her wing and show them how it was,” she said. “She enjoyed people, and she enjoyed helping people.”
Ms. Sutton was born Carol Joan Dickerson in New Orleans on Dec. 3, 1944. She was the oldest of three siblings. Her father, Amos Dickerson, was largely absent from her childhood. Her mother, Marguerite Bush, was a longtime community activist whose passion for helping others was a guiding light for Ms. Sutton.
In her mid-20s, Ms. Sutton became a member of the Dashiki Project Theater, an organization for actors and playwrights that gathered in the auditorium of the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, on the corner of Second Street and Loyola Avenue.
The group, which was formed during the Black Arts Movement, fostered a community of artists and was the foundation for Ms. Sutton’s acting career, said Adella Gautier, an actress who was also part of the group and a close friend of Ms. Sutton’s.
“A lot of original work came out of that group, dealing with the Black experience and based in a Black neighborhood,” Ms. Gautier, 72, said. “It allowed people in the area to be exposed to quality artistic experiences.”
About five years after joining the Dashiki Project Theater, Ms. Sutton was cast in her first television film, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” which starred Cicely Tyson and was first broadcast in 1974. Ms. Sutton went on to appear in multiple feature films, including “Steel Magnolias” in 1989, “Ray” in 2004, “The Help” in 2011 and “Poms” last year — all while acting in stage productions in New Orleans. Her many stage credits include productions of “4000 Miles” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” and she appeared on television shows including “Treme,” “Queen Sugar” and, most recently, “Lovecraft Country” on HBO.
We will honor and remember Carol on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF STEVE LIGHTLE - NOVEMBER 19, 1959 - JANUARY 8, 2021
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Steve Lightle who died of COVID-19.
As the artist for the popular comic "Legion of Super-Heroes" in the early 1980s, Steve Lightle made a living dreaming up the future, but his own was cut short by Covid-19.
Lightle, 61, died from cardiac arrest in a Kansas City, Missouri, hospital on Jan. 8, just three days after coming down with what he thought was a head cold and just hours after he was rushed to the hospital.
"Covid stole my husband's life and our future together," said Marianne Lightle, his wife of 38 years, by email. "We wore masks, social distanced, washed our hands. ... It appeared as a cold and became death.
"I will never forget the helpless feeling of not being able to save him," added Marianne Lightle, who now has Covid-19 herself.
Best known for his runs on "Legion" and "Doom Patrol" for DC and "Classic X-Men" covers for Marvel, Lightle became a fixture at conventions, never too busy to mentor the next generation. He came across as larger than life and drew visuals that were just as grand.
"My memories of him are that he was just a very enthusiastic, very warm guy who was excited about everything he was doing," said Paul Levitz, the writer on Lightle's "Legion" run and a longtime friend. "He was happy to be contributing in any way that he possibly could, had a bunch of ideas and was just enjoying the hell out of what he was getting to do."
"I try to give my all to each assignment that I take on," Lightle told Comic Book Resources in 2002. "With the Legion it's really easy to find that personal connection, because I've been a fan of the series since my childhood. The first Legion drawing that I can remember ever doing was created at my school desk in 2nd grade."
Levitz, then the established writer of that series, remembers his new artistic partner as always thinking ahead — 1,000 years into the future to be exact. Lightle, for example, came up with the design for the fan-favorite hero Tellus, a hulking aquatic creature that proved surprisingly human at heart.
"As a creative person, he was an unusually thoughtful artist about coming up with new characters and new elements," Levitz said. "He was very comfortable trying to figure out how to depict the future, which is always an interesting question."
"An awful lot of the things that we came up in the comics in those days, we only got right [in] 20 years, not 1,000, and some we may not get for the full 1,000 years. It's hard to tell," Levitz said.
By the time he landed the "Legion" job, he was working on a more traditional kind of future, having married his childhood sweetheart, Marianne, whom he met when he was 19 and she was 16. The couple went on to have two children together: a son, Matthew, in 1986 and a daughter, Nina, in 1994.
Lightle continued to draw up until his death, channeling his passion into his own online comic series, "Justin Zane." He also enjoyed meeting fans on the comic-convention circuit, where his original fans who enjoyed his work in their childhoods were bringing their own children along.
"He also liked talking with young aspiring artists," Marianne Lightle said. "He made some lasting friendships with a few he had mentored."
Though he never achieved the superstardom of some other artists, people in the industry appreciated his dynamic style. After learning of Lightle's death, Jim Lee, one of the most popular artists in the business and now chief creative officer at DC, tweeted that he was "a huge fan of his work on Legion of Superheroes growing up."
There should have been more issues of comics, more laughs with fans at conventions, more time with his five — soon to be six — grandchildren.
"He loved people. He loved animals. He was just such a gentle soul," Marianne Lightle said. "He felt deeply and was never one to mince words. He was the most honest human being I have known."
"He was my best friend," she said, "and I can't talk about him without losing my grip, because he was my strength."
We will honor and remember Steve on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF BALVINA CASAREZ - 6/16/2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Lucy in honor and memory of Balvina Casarez who died of COVID-19.
Lucy writes: I am part of the activist team for Marked By Covid.
IN MEMORY OF DAVID CASAREZ - 4/3/2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Lucy in honor and memory of David Casarez who died of COVID-19.
Lucy writes: I am part of the activist team for Marked By Covid.
My entire household was exposed to Covid in March of 2020. It was the early days and unfortunately most hospitals were in the dark about treatment and therapeutics. I was the only one who survived. I lost my husband, sister-in-law and 95-year-old mother-in-law within 2 months.
IN MEMORY OF YOLANDA CORTEZ - 6/1/2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Lucy in honor and memory of Yolanda Cortez who died of COVID-19.
Lucy writes: I am part of the activist team for Marked By Covid.
My entire household was exposed to Covid in March of 2020. It was the early days and unfortunately most hospitals were in the dark about treatment and therapeutics. I was the only one who survived. I lost my husband, sister-in-law and 95-year-old mother-in-law within 2 months.
IN MEMORY OF DEBBIE KEATING - 09/27/59 - 03/27/21
This Memorial Square comes to us from Jim in honor and memory of his wife, Debbie Keating, who died of COVID-19.
Debbie Keating. 09/27/59-03/27/21.
IN MEMORY OF ASTRID REYES - AUGUST 19, 2021, age 6
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Astrid Reyes who died of COVID-19.
Astrid Reyes was a brave girl when her mother brought her to the United States a year ago to escape poverty and violence in Honduras.
The journey took a month. Both mother and daughter evaded the dangers immigrants face in their quest to reach the United States and apply for asylum. They endured inclement weather and the stalking of criminals, slept in the open and went hungry until they reached the Mexican city of Reynosa, in the state of Tamaulipas. From there, they crossed the Rio Grande to Texas.
Of the group of 30 immigrants who tried crossing, only Astrid and her mother, Suny Galindo, weren’t intercepted by border patrol agents.
Astrid never complained. She never shed a tear. She was 6 years old.
“She was a very intelligent and mature girl for her age,” says Galindo, 24. “She was my only daughter and she told me: Mom, I will always be here to take care of you.”
On Aug. 19, Astrid died in the emergency room of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, three days after she was admitted unresponsive and with seizure activity.
She is the youngest person in Florida to die from complications of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
Astrid’s name was added to the list of at least eight children who have died from COVID-19 complications in Florida since the pandemic began, along with a 9-year-old, two 11-year-olds, two 16-year-olds and two 17-year-olds.
The majority of recorded coronavirus cases and deaths have been in adults, and children are less likely to have severe symptoms when infected. Of the 6 million cases reported in the United States, about 265,000 were in children, which is about 5 percent, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, some children are becoming seriously ill and dying.
Astrid was born with a heart murmur. In Honduras, the doctors told Galindo that it was not serious and she could live normally. Before her death, Astrid was not on any medications and had no prior surgeries.
But Astrid began to feel sick on the morning of Aug. 16, a Sunday. Her mother said Astrid woke up and complained that she had a headache and a sharp pain in her left leg. Minutes later she had a seizure and became unresponsive.
Galindo was stunned by the unfolding of events.
“We shared the same room and the day before Astrid was feeling very well. But she woke up complaining of pain. Her forehead was hot. She started convulsing and I asked for help,” said Galindo.
She took Astrid to the Florida Hospital, on Fletcher Avenue, eight minutes from home. Astrid was transferred by helicopter to All Children’s.
The doctors tried everything, Galindo said, but the damage to her daughter’s brain was irreversible. Astrid was connected to a machine from Sunday until Wednesday, when her mother gave the approval to disconnect it.
“The decision was made,” Galindo said. “There was nothing left to do.”
Galindo said it is hard to believe that her daughter was infected with COVID-19. She said Astrid was healthy the whole week until the emergency. She had no temperature, skin rash or other symptoms related to COVID-19.
Astrid loved painting, drawing and hands-on arts and crafts. She reveled in watching handicraft videos on YouTube and was learning English at lightning speed.
The day before Astrid got sick, mother and daughter went shopping, spent the afternoon together and attended a church service.
That afternoon, Galindo gave her daughter a Mickey Mouse set of coloring pens in advance of her birthday.
“Astrid was very excited for her birthday,” said Galindo. “It would have been a great day for everyone. It’s very difficult to believe that she is no longer with us.”
We will honor and remember Astrid on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF JUAN ROQUE - DIED SEPTEMBER 11, 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Beatriz in honor and memory of her dad, Juan Roque, who died of COVID-19.
My father's name was Juan Roque. He passed away on September 11, 2020.
IN MEMORY OF CHARLES JOHNSON III - NOVEMBER 3, 1940 - MARCH 27, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Charles Johnson III who died of COVID-19. Charles Johnson III, 79, of Indianapolis, passed away March 27, 2020. He was born on November 3, 1940 in Broussard, Louisiana as the son of Charles Johnson II and Beatrice Johnson.
Charles retired from the U.S. Army in 1985 as a Master Sergeant and then worked for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service until he retired in 2002. He was a member of Veterans Memorial Chapel, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Far Eastside Neighborhood Association, and the Warren Central Dads. He was passionate about volunteering at Warren Central High School; spending over 20 years helping out at athletic events and just lending a hand wherever he could. Being a positive role model for the students was so important to him. He also volunteered at the Old Bethel Food Pantry for many years.
Though he loved to help others, the love for his family was his ultimate love. During the nice weather and even sometimes during the winter, you could always find him on the front porch barbequing for the family. He also loved to go to the casino, go fishing, work in his yard and garden, and root for the Dallas Cowboys.
“I remember the big grin he had on his face when walking the halls of Warren Central."
We will honor and remember Charles on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF HONESTIE HODGES - NOVEMBER 22, 2020, age 14
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Honestie Hodges who died of COVID-19. Honestie Hodges, who was handcuffed by the police outside her home in Grand Rapids, Mich., when she was 11, a frightening incident that drew outrage and national headlines in 2017, died on Sunday, November 22. She was 14.
Her death, at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, was caused by Covid-19.
The incident occurred on Dec. 6, 2017. Honestie had stepped out the back door of her home with her mother and another family member to go to the store when they were confronted by police officers with their guns drawn.
“Put your hands on top of your—,” an officer ordered them before he was interrupted by Honestie’s mother screaming, “She is 11 years old, sir!”
“Stop yelling!” the officer responded, as recorded by an officer’s body camera. He ordered Honestie to walk backward toward him with her hands up.
A second officer grabbed her arms, pulled them behind her back and handcuffed her. Honestie shouted, “No, No, No!” pleading with the officers not to place the cuffs on her. The police, who said they had been searching for a 40-year-old woman in connection with a stabbing, removed the handcuffs after several minutes.
The incident caused a widespread uproar that led to a soul-searching within the Grand Rapids Police Department. In a news conference, the police chief at the time, David Rahinsky, said that “listening to the 11-year-old’s response makes my stomach turn; it makes me physically nauseous.” He retired in 2019.
None of the officers were disciplined because they had not violated any departmental policies, Mr. Rahinsky wrote in a statement at the time. Nonetheless, the department acknowledged that the officers had made a mistake in how they handled the child.
IN MEMORY OF CARLOS ROSAS - JULY 20, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Carlos Rosas who died of COVID-19. Fans of a South Side landmark Calumet Fisheries are in mourning after the death of 41-year-old manager Carlos Rosas. Rosas died Monday of complications related to COVID-19, owner Mark Kotlick wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday.
“Carlos was our ambassador,” Kotlick writes in the post. “He always had a smile on his face and would greet you with a warm hello. He was a big guy with a heart to match... A big part of the spirit of Calumet Fisheries went to heaven yesterday.”
Calumet Fisheries, located by the banks of Calumet River, is a uniquely Chicagoan experience that’s earned a James Beard award and places on countless lists, including Eater Chicago’s essential restaurants in the city. The small shack produces exquisite bites of smoked seafood that’s taken to go or enjoyed by customers in their parked cars.
A native of Chicago’s Southeast Side, Rosas had worked at the smokehouse since 1997, according to the Tribune. Prior to his arrival at Calumet Fisheries, he cooked on the line on Indiana riverboats, and studied at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago.
“He certainly will be missed by the Cal Fish family and the thousands of customers we have,” Kotlick writes in an email. “I guess the most important thing I want people to remember about Carlos is the MANY people who’s hearts he touched.”
Rosas embodied hospitality, and his welcoming demeanor earned “the fish house,” as locals call it, a special place in many hearts and stomachs. He appeared in a 2008 episode of Anthony Bourdain’s food and travel show No Reservations, and can be seen peeking over the counter on an episode of PBS’s restaurant review show Check Please. The unofficial historian of Calumet Fisheries, Rosas delighted in telling customers about the 92-year-old store’s background — including its role in “Blues Brothers” history — and showing off the smoker, according to the Sun-Times.
By Friday morning, Kotlick’s Facebook tribute accrued nearly 500 comments from fans and friends across the U.S. who wanted to express their condolences and share stories about Rosas.
“I called him my Lil Brother but he was Mr. Hospitality at the store,” writes commenter Rudolph Zavala Jr. “He got a smile out of everyone and made sure you left with a smile and loved his workers. He was a Big Guy with a Big Smile and a Huge Heart. I will miss him so.”
We will honor and remember Carlos on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF BRIAN SURRAT - NOVEMBER 5, 2020
This Memorial Square is in honor and memory of Brian Surrat who died of COVID-19. As her son grew older, Irma Chamberlain learned to modify her expectations for him. “I realized that with all the help and all the stuff I did that Brian was still going to be Brian, no matter what,” she said. Brian being Brian had its joys and its challenges.
Brian Surratt loved singing along with his favorite musical artists, especially Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson and Jody Watley.
He’d listen to their recordings over and over again until he not only knew all the lyrics but also could match the singer’s delivery.
“He would sing it so perfectly. You’d be like, where does he get this?” said his sister, Char Surratt.
“Brian smart,” he’d say proudly.
Surratt, a 34-year-old man born with Fragile X syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes intellectual disability, died Nov. 5 at Stroger Hospital from complications of COVID-19.
Surratt lived in Englewood with his mother, Irma Chamberlain, who devoted her life to keeping him safe, a task made all the more difficult this year by the coronavirus.
The deadly virus has proven particularly lethal to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, many of whom like Surratt have underlying health problems and lack the capacity to appreciate its dangers.
There’s a lesson in that for all of us, of course, but rather then belabor the point, let me just tell you about Brian Surratt.
His mother held a good job at a bank when he was born, but she soon gave it up to devote full-time to his care.
Chamberlain, now 71, said she started her son in treatment programs when he was just 10 months old.
“I made sure Brian went to school. I got him in therapy. I got him child development. I put him in classes,” she said.
Chamberlain also enrolled her son in a Fragile X research program at the University of Chicago and switched over when the doctor in charge moved to Rush.
“I was always on the move with Brian,” she said.
As her son grew older, Chamberlain learned to modify her expectations for him.
“I realized that with all the help and all the stuff I did that Brian was still going to be Brian, no matter what,” she said.
Brian being Brian had its joys and its challenges.
“When he was good, he was great. You’d be shocked at what came out of his mouth,” Chamberlain said.
In addition to his music, he liked anything that made him laugh, whether that was Barney or Popeye cartoons or his friends at the Envision United Mock Center, the adult day program he attended in the nearby Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
Surratt loved pizza and fried shrimp and would never let his mother take him home from an outing without buying him something.
He was better off than many others with developmental disabilities because he could walk, talk, feed and dress himself.
But “there was a gap in his ability to express himself verbally,” his sister said.
He could recognize and read some words, but not an entire sentence.
“He definitely could not be left alone,” Char Surratt said. “He didn’t necessarily recognize danger. He was not able to cross a street by himself.
The coronavirus made life even more difficult for Brian Surratt.
Normally, he spent three days a week in the Mock Center’s day program, where he was known as an enthusiastic participant in the group’s activities.
But that came to an end in March when the state temporarily closed such facilities because of the pandemic. When the center reopened in August, Chamberlain decided it would be safer to keep him home.
The interruption of his routine was difficult for Surratt, who missed his friends and didn’t understand what was happening.
Then on Oct. 3, a home care support worker took Surratt for a rare outing without his mother to give her a break. They visited a barbershop and a KFC.
It was about a week later when Surratt began showing symptoms, although his mother just thought he was coming down with a cold. When he became increasingly lethargic, she took him to the doctor.
He’d been in the hospital about two weeks before he died. He was not allowed visitors, which pained his family.
“He had to be very frightened and confused,” said his sister, who was finally able to win permission for Chamberlain to see him.
It was a short visit. She spoke her son’s name, and he opened one eye. A few hours after leaving the hospital, she got a call from the doctors to tell her he was dead.
“That was the hardest thing that I ever heard,” Chamberlain said.
We will honor and remember Brian on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF FLORADAHL "TOOTS" SACKS - FEBRUARY 12, 1924 – JULY 23, 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Rhoda in honor and memory of her mother, Floradahl "Toots" Sacks, who died of COVID-19. Rhoda writes:
Dear Madeleine. You are so right. My mother is much more than a number or statistic. 8 (the size of the Memorial Squares) is the symbol of "infinity" and 18 is the Hebrew number for "life."
Floradahl was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the oldest of two daughters. Her childhood was overshadowed by the Great Depression. As a first generation Jewish American, Toots, a lifelong nickname from age six, was the first in her family to not only attend school but graduated the University of Pittsburgh as a Registered Nurse.
Moving to Chicago, Toots met and married her other half, Phil Sacks. Living in the suburb of Wilmette, Toots happily raised three children while being active in the community. Toots was involved in political causes. Toots was active with the local PTA and Girl Scouts. Toots was active at her synagogue.
Summers involved a houseful of visiting out-of-towners; parents, nephews, cousins, and friends. She also baked untold batches of cookies - especially Oatmeal Cookies.
When the children were raised and on their own, Toots and Phil retired to Bonaventure in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Toots continued to be active; from the HOA to local politics to the synagogue. Oatmeal cookies were baked, packed up, and carried on the airplanes when visiting children and grandchildren up North.
At age 92, widowed and in declining health, Toots moved into a West Palm Beach Independent Living Residence. Wheelchair bound and in isolation with only phone calls from her family and books to keep her company, COVID-19 caught Toots.
She fought it for two very long weeks before dying all alone. No one was allowed to attend her funeral in person except the Rabbi. She leaves her legacy to her three children (and spouses), nine grandchildren, fifteen little greats, as well as her nephews, nieces, and many friends.
We will honor and remember Toots on the Covid Memorial Quilt.
IN MEMORY OF DONALD D. SCHULTZ - 1936 - 2020
This Memorial Square comes to us from Teresa and the Schultz-Jones family in honor and memory of Donald D. Schultz who died of COVID-19. Teresa writes:
Thank you very much for doing this.
Donald was a husband, father, friend, engineer, chess player, author, diplomat, and world traveler. He is loved and missed.
We will honor and remember Donald on the Covid Memorial Quilt.