Donna Lynn Schroen Naylor

Donna Schroen Naylor of Bethalto Illinois died of COVID-19 on December 11, 2020 at the age of 70. She caught the novel coronavirus in November and passed soon after.

Donna was a retired teacher, having touched countless young lives for 33 years in Cottage Hills and Bethalto East. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in education from Southern Illinois University, and was continually enriching her mind by reading books and learning. Donna never had her own children, and poured her love into her school kids, fur babies, and volunteer work. She and her late husband shared a passion for therapy dogs, which they’d take to local nursing homes. Long before COVID-19 hit, Donna knew the importance of making sure that families don’t go hungry; you could find her every Thursday at The House of Victory Food Pantry ministering, praying with, and giving groceries to those in need. She continued this volunteer work through the pandemic, until becoming sick herself from COVID. Donna is remembered as being one of the most cheerful people that anyone could possibly meet. “You could count on her to laugh at your feeblest joke and enthusiastically cheer your slightest success.”

Donna Schroen Naylor is missed deeply by her brother, small extended family, church family, huge circle of friends and acquaintances, and the countless people whose lives she touched.


Donna Lynn Schroen Naylor obituary at Elias Kallal and Schaff Funeral Home 

Thomas J. Martin Jr.

Thomas Martin Jr. of Lonedell in Franklin County MO died of COVID-19 on December 12, 2020 at the age of 74.

Tom grew up in St. Louis County and joined the Army right after Highschool during the Vietnam War. After his honorable discharge, Tom started as a salesman for a food distribution business. He worked his way up, while raising a three kids with his wife, and eventually managed several food distributorships. Tom loved his faith and took joy in all kinds of outdoors activities, whether hunting, fishing, hiking or just mowing his yard. Most of all, Tom loved his kids and his grandkids, and took lots of pride in being a wonderful husband and father. He was a lifelong Republican and avid watcher of Fox News.

Thomas J. Martin Jr. is missed deeply by his wife of 42 years his kids, grandkids, extended family and circle of friends.


Thomas J. Martin Jr. obituary at Russell Colonial Funeral Home

Kenneth Duane Bjelland

Kenneth D. Bjelland of Alton, IL died after a lengthy battle with COVID-19 on December 10, 2020 at the age of 74.

Ken captained a sailboat named The Midnight Sun and was a regular fixture at Lithia Springs Marina in Shelbyville. His favorite things were sailing, seafood, and anything to do with water and travel. He retired as DeWitt County Farm Bureau manager in 2016 after 35 years and moved from Maroa IL to Alton to be with his wife.

Ken will be remembered for his dry wit, adventurous palate, and love of life. He is missed deeply by his wife, two daughters, a grandson, and by his extended family and many friends in the Midwest and in Norway.


Kenneth Bjelland obituary on Legacy 

Diane Bode Dinges Neukam

Diane Bode Dinges Neukam died of COVID-19 on December 12, 2020 at Belleville Memorial Hospital at the age of 70, with her children at her side.

Diane had three children with her first husband and loved being a mom and then a grandma. She co-founded Kid’s Kloset before becoming a medical transcriptionist for Belleville Memorial Hospital and eventually retiring from Oncology Care Center in Swansea. Diane loved to travel anywhere there was a beach and sun – to a lake resort or Caribbean! She also loved shopping, dining out with good friends, seeing live music, and gardening. People, laughter, and love mattered most to her and Diane was the type who never knew a stranger, making many lifelong friends from chance encounters.

Diane is missed deeply by her children and grandchildren, her extended family, inlaws on her first husband and (late) second husbands’ sides, and all her many friends.

Diane Bode Dinges Neukam obituary at Renner Funeral Homes

Richard Lee Constance

Richard Lee Constance died suddenly from complications of COVID-19 on November 23, 2020 at the age of 70.

Richard had just retired in June from a 45+ year career as a personal injury attorney. He and his wife of 43 years loved St. Louis City living, loved being six minutes away from The Cardinals and the basketball SLU Billikens home games, and were active in their neighborhood betterment association. Rick also played golf and tennis, and was an active member of the St. Louis Athletic Club. He’s remembered as being an irreplaceable friend, doting on his nieces and nephews, his warm friendly smile, and how he lived life to its fullest.

Richard Lee Constance is missed deeply by his wife, his father, his brother and his sister, as well as his nieces and nephews, former coworkers, friends, neighborhood friends, community and the many people whose lives he touched.


Richard Lee Constance obituary on Legacy

Michael Madison

michael madison covid-19 death St. Louis Metro

Michael Madison of Freeburg IL died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 68 on November 16, 2020. His wife Connie got to go into his room, hold his hand, and say goodbye to him at Belleville Memorial Hospital, as her mother continues to fight coronavirus (but as of this writing is still alive).

Michael was enjoying retirement with his adoring wife of 8 years, and finally getting to take a break from working so hard his whole life. He served in the US Military and his faith was important to his personal strength and life.

Michael Madison is missed deeply by his wife, his son, grandchildren, extended family and circle of friends.


Michael Madison obituary at Renner Funeral Homes 

Thomas Eise

Thomas Eise - St. Louis COVID-19 death

Thomas Eise of St. Ann, MO died of COVID-19 on November 12, 2020 at the age of 67. He went in for a knee replacement, developed cellulitis, and then coronavirus. He supported the shutdowns to flatten the curve, socially distanced, wore a mask… and despite taking every precaution, he still caught COVID-19.

Tom was a hard working man who was fiercely loyal to his family and friends. He was empathetic, a listening ear when you needed one, and raised his step daughters as his own.

in April, 2020 Tom wrote the following poem which one of his daughters shared with the message:

“We lost my dad to COVID this last week. He was careful, he supported the lockdowns and mandates, but too many around him didn’t. He went in for a knee replacement and developed cellulitis. They sent him home on a Wednesday (I picked him up) and he barely made it inside. We assumed that it was pain and such. 36 hours later he was taken back to the ER by ambulance. He was hallucinating and a mess. His oxygen was in the 60s. They then decided to test for Covid. Next day ventilator, next day chemical paralysis- and he was not able to recover. He was 67He (Tom Eise) wrote this poem back in April.””


You Know Me – a poem by Thomas Eise

I don't want to get ill or die
Cant you just please comply

I'm a person and have a name.
To you this is an inconvenience, a game

I'm an artist, a singer.
I'm your postman or pick up
your trash.

I'm a doctor, intern or nurse.
I'm young and quiet. I'm old
and brash

I'm your neighbor, the grandmother
up the street.

I'm the towtruck driver, I
pour concrete

You Know me

I don't want to get ill or die
Can't you just please comply

Thomas Eise is missed deeply by his partner in life, Mary Jo Purcell, a son and daughter, two step-daughters, grandchildren, six siblings, and a host of friends.


Thomas Eise obituary at Ortmann Funeral Home 

Poem by Thomas Eise – from Facebook (see sources and embeds above)

Beverly Lynn Long

Beverly Lynn Long of Godfrey IL died from COVID-19 after a month-long battle on November 13, 2020 at the age of 65.

Beverly retired from a dedicated career as a manager at the IRS, where she helped and mentored her team to do their best. She was enjoying retirement with her husband of 45 years and spending more time with their grandkids. She’s remembered for being sweet but strong.

Beverly Lynn Long is missed deeply by her mother, husband, three daughters, grandkids, extended family and many friends.


Beverly Lynn Long obituary at Elias, Kallal, and Schaff Funeral Home 

Ruth Kathryn Mathews Gay

Ruth Katheryn Mathews Gay St. Louis COVID-19 death

Ruth Kathryn Mathews Gay passed from complications of COVID-19 on April 17, 2020 at the age of 74 while at Life Care Nursing Facility. One of her daughters was allowed to be visit while wearing protective gear. Her family sent the memorial below:

Obituary of Ruth Kathryn Mathews Gay (November 1, 1945 – April 17, 2020)
Ruth Kathryn Mathews Gay was born in St. Louis, MO on November 1, 1945 to Henry and Ruth Mathews. Family and friends affectionately addressed her as Ruth Kathryn, though she preferred to be called Ruth. Her parents (Henry and Ruth Mathews), husband, Albert W. (Al Sanders) Gay, Jr. and her granddaughter, Jade Aaliyah Valdes preceded her in death.

Her maternal grandmother, Rosebud Turner, made sure she attended the historic Antioch Baptist Church regularly. At the age of ten she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized. Ruth participated in the Children’s Choir, the Girls Auxiliary, and the Baptist Youth Fellowship at the church.

Ruth graduated from Beaumont High School in 1963.She attended the University of Missouri in Columbia and became a civil rights activist. While there she participated in marches and sit-ins. When Ruth left Mizzou, she married her knight in shining amour; Albert Gay, Jr. known professionally as Scoop Sanders on radio station, KXLW in St. Louis. In 1970, their first son, Brandon C. Gay was born. Soon afterwards, Albert’s career took his new family to Baltimore, MD where he became a TV news anchor on Channel 13-WJZ. There they expanded their family with two additional children, Christopher M. Gay and Tisha K. Gay.

In Columbia, MD, Ruth was a devoted homemaker for thirty years. She chauffeured her children and their friends to their various extra-curricular activities ranging from soccer and football to equestrian training. She was a true sports mom. During the 70’s and 80’s, she was active in the PTA and volunteered in classrooms and in the library at Thunder Hill Elementary School. Ruth and Albert enjoyed their life on the east coast. They traveled frequently to New York, Las Vegas, the Bahamas, Philadelphia, and Ocean City, MD. They loved playing bid whist, listening to music, and spending time with their friends. Ruth was an excellent cook and hosted many scrumptious lunches and dinners for family and friends. In her spare time, she bowled with a league and every Thursday for more than ten years she volunteered at the Howard County Center of African American Culture, Inc. founded by the late Mrs. Wylene Burch.

In 1995, after a brief battle with lung cancer, her beloved husband, Albert, passed away. Five years later, Ruth relocated to her birthplace, St. Louis, MO and joined Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church. In 2002, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, yet she continued to travel, play cards with a St. Louis bid whist card club and was welcomed by the Ford School retired friends birthday club. Ruth was always pleasant, displayed a sweet smile and generously shared whatever she had with others. She had a great sense of humor and often left one with a puzzled smile!

Ruth contracted the Coronavirus while at Life Care Nursing facility and transitioned peacefully on April 17, 2020. She leaves a lifetime of fond memories to be treasured by her children, Brandon C. Gay (Angela) of Warren, MI; Christopher Gay of St. Louis, MO; and Tisha Gay of Brandon, FL; her sister, Rosalynde Scott of St. Louis; niece, Dr. Harriette Scott Dudley of Boston, MA; and nephew, William Henry Scott (Colleen) of Dallas, TX; five grandchildren, Xavier Matthew Valdes, twins, Lia and Lauryn Benning, Brandon Stanley Gay, Lucas Michael Gomez, and a host of family and friends.

Carl Edward McLittle Jr.

Carl Edward McLittle Jr. passed of COVID-19 on May 17, 2020 at the age of 74. He was a Vietnam War veteran, a loving father and grandfather, and a lifelong learner.

He’s missed deeply by his family, friends, and all those who knew him.


Carl McLittle Jr obituary at Reliable Funeral Homes 

Dr. Edward P. Rose

Dr. Edward P. Rose died of COVID-19 on September 20, 2020 at the age of 74. He was a practicing rheumatologist in Belleville IL until contracting coronavirus, refusing to abandon his patients even though retirement was suggested in March.

A polio survivor, Ed devoted his life to his family, science, and service. He attended Washington University Medical School and completed his residency at Barnes, cumulating with completing a fellowship at Royal Victoria Hospital/McGill University in Montreal in 1976. He served his community for 45 years as a board-certified rheumatologist and internist, as president of the Medical Society of St. Clair County, a chess club coach, and as an appointed member of the Illinois State Medical Licensing Board for nearly 20 years.

Ed is remembered as being quiet and unwaveringly stable, although he loved a noisy home with children running around playing. He loved hosting raucous dinner parties with plenty of wine and comfort food, passionate disagreements, laughter, and story-telling. Ed taught his kids to play chess, water ski, follow through on commitments and the values of philanthropy, travel, and enjoying simple pleasures.

Dr. Edward P. Rose is deeply missed by his wife of 47 years, 7 kids, 20 grandchildren, extended family, the many friends he made in life, and his patients.

Edward P. Rose obituary at Kurrus Funeral Home

Ralph Struckhoff

Ralph Struckhoff COVID-19 death

Ralph Struckhoff died of COVID-19 on September 11th, 2020 at the age of 74. As far as he or his family knew he was perfectly healthy and had the body and mind of someone much younger. He and his wife were looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in October (and many more happy anniversaries after that), but now they cannot.

Ralph served our country in the U.S. Army from 1965-1967 after which he married the love of his life, Jayne. They settled in Augusta where they raised their two children while he worked worked as a Union carpenter, Local 97, for Lauer Construction. He was a member of Immaculate Conception Church in Augusta, the Knights of Columbus, and American Legion Post 262 in Augusta. Ralph enjoyed lots of things, but especially Christmas when he’d decorate the house and take extra cheer. He was always there to help a neighbor with a home project, listen to a friend, or to spend quality time making memories with his grandkids.

Ralph is deeply missed by his wife Jayne, his kids, grandkids, extended family, church family, American Legion and Knights of Columbus family, and all his many friends. His family is grateful to the nurses, doctors, and hospital staff who tried their best to save his life.

(note: I’m unclear on if Ralph Struckhoff is related to Paul Struckhoff, also of Augusta MO, who died of COVID-19 on April 28… I’m guessing they’re related but nothing I’ve found explicitly states this).


Mr. Edward Hellm, Jr.

Edward Hellm Jr. died of COVID-19 on April 27, 2020 at the age of 69. He was a veteran who’d served our country, a loving father and husband, and a retiree with lots of friends. He died alone in the hospital on a ventilator.

Edward (Eddie) Hellm, Jr., a 69 year old African American Father of four sons; Husband, Veteran, Retiree & Realtor was fighting the biggest battle of his life – the pandemic infused Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. On 3/27/20, Mr. Hellm, Jr. visited his primary care Dr. Michael Spezia (near Lucas-Hunt/Natural Bridge Rd.) with complaints of chills and body aches.  He was told to rest & prescribed Claritin!  3 days later with the urging of his wife, Eddie called in an uproar about how much pain he was having & chills.  He was prescribed an antibiotic & cough medicine with no testing, despite his doctor knowing of other underlying health conditions.  The Hellms called the COVID-19 hotline twice expressing their concerns & was told to continue the meds as he most likely had strep throat!  These are horrifying examples of disservice which leads to mistrust by black people of those we are expected to entrust our lives to.

3 days later, Mrs. Hellm drove her husband to the ER at Progress West Hospital near their home in O’Fallon, MO.  He was immediately sedated, intubated with the ventilator & tested for the virus.  24 hours later results revealed that he was in-fact POSITIVE!  2 days later (04/05/20), Eddie was transported by ambulance to Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJC) to their Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  His family is not able to be at his side, but are allowed sporadic video viewings of him via text alerts.  Every hospital should follow the Louisiana examples of palliative/hospice care which allows family to visit critically ill coronavirus patients with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

from Black Corona Lives Matter on A Red Circle

Eddie is missed deeply by his wife, adult kids, grandkids, family, many friends, and all those who knew him.


Mrs. Evelyn Otis

Mrs. Evelyn Otis passed from COVID-19 complications in O’Fallon Illinois on April 28, 2020. She was 74 years old.

Evelyn retired from Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville IL in late 2017 and was finally enjoying retirement. She was known for enthusiastically living life to the fullest, and loved cooking, fishing, and her family.

She’s missed by her 3 adult kids, her elderly mother, two brothers, six grandchildren, and lots of extended family and friends.


Lt. Colonel Gregory R. Hawkins

Lt. Colonel Gregory R. Hawkins death

Lt. Colonel Gregory R. Hawkins passed from complications of COVID-19 in late April 2020 at the age of 71. When he retired in 2007, he was the highest ranking African American at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He served our City for nearly 40 years, working his way up from cadet in 1968 to ultimately the position of Lieutenant Colonel and deputy chief, commander of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Bureau of Auxiliary Services.

Gregory Hawkins played a major role in revitalizing the Department’s Police Athletic League (P.A. L.),  whose mission is “.. to provide a positive and constructive environment through sports and activities for our St. Louis youth to grow and develop, keep them safe, and ensure that they choose a positive path for their future. We fill playgrounds, not prisons“.

Gregory Hawkins was also active in Dismas House Community Relations Board, and Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS). He never stopped serving the St. Louis community, and was active in helping out until he his death.

From (ARCHS):

ARCHS is deeply saddened by the COVID-19 related passing of one of our founding board members – Lt. Col. Gregory Hawkins.

Lt. Col. Hawkins was a 40-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (OFFICIAL). As a member of ARCHS’ Board Executive Committee, he provided an unwavering commitment to community service. ARCHS’ board and staff will fondly remember his strategic counsel, jovial nature, and flair for fashion. Condolences to his many family and friends.

Lt. Colonel Gregory R. Hawkins is missed deeply by his wife, three grown kids, extended family, his friends and colleagues at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and ARCHS, and all the countless children and families whose lives he touched.