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.
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.””
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
I'm a doctor, intern or nurse.
I'm young and quiet. I'm old
I'm your neighbor, the grandmother
up the street.
I'm the towtruck driver, I
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.
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.
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.
Sara J. Crump died of COVID-19 at the age of 74 on October 21. Sara lived in the St. Charles area and taught 2nd and 3rd grade children at Kratz School in the Ritenour District for 30 years until she retired. She was married over 50 years, and her conservative values were important to her.
Sara J. Crump is missed by her family, friends, and former students.
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.
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).
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).
Joyce Octavia Lakes was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 on April 2, and passed after a lengthy and exhaustive battle with the coronavirus on June 26, 2020. She was 73 years old.
Joyce worked 30 years for Southwestern Bell after withdrawing from college following the death of her father. Despite challenges in her life, she poured her heart into raising her two children. Joyce somehow always found time for what was important to her; and cultivating authentic relationships tied her busy and varied hobbies together. She was active in various church groups and with different hobbies from crochet and gardening to dancing, singing and (especially) bowling. Joyce was positive, empathetic, and would give her last dollar to help out a friend in need.
Joyce Lakes is deeply missed by her daughter, son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, extended family, church family, work family, and anyone who was fortunate enough to pass through her wide social circle.
Her daughter and daughter-in-law both publicly posted about her long and horrific battle with COVID-19 on Facebook below. Every available option to save her life was exhausted over her 2+ month long battle with the novel coronavirus and hope of a full recovery was not lost until she passed over.
This was a contact from a close friend/family (daughter in-law)
Sharon Marie Adams passed from heart failure due to COVID-19 on July 15, 2020 at the age of 71. Although she’d recovered from a lengthy battle with coronavirus and tested negative shortly before her death, the virus had weakened her heart too much to for her body to stay alive. She was afflicted with Parkinson’s and had recovered from a stroke, and thought she was going to survive COVID-19 like she had everything else.
Sharon was a loving aunt, the best big sister anyone could ask for, and a friend who took the time to listen. In highschool she was in both theatre and track, as an adult she was similarly well liked by anyone from anywhere who was lucky enough to run into her. Sharon worked most of her life, until Parkinson’s stole too much of her coordination.
Sharon Marie Adams is missed deeply by her sister and close-knit family. Her friends miss her, and her community does too.
This was a contact from a close friend/family (sister)
Ronald Arlen Whitley died of COVID-19 on May 6, 2020. He was 68 years old and had no underlying conditions. When he was hospitalized his wife and adult children kept thinking that he would turn the corner and recover, but he did not.
Ron was a soft-spoken, gentle, kind man who was devoted to his family and loved animals. He worked an accountant with his own firm for over 30 years, and would bring along his dog, cat, and Amazon parrot to the office every day (they are waiting for him in heaven). Ron liked to do just about anything as long as it was with his beloved family.
Ron Arlen Whitley is missed by his heartbroken wife, two adult children, two grandkids, extended family, his accounting clients, and everyone who knew him.
This was a contact from a close friend/family (daughter)
Polly Reichrath passed away of COVID-19 on April 28, 2020 at the age of 72. She had no family except a cousin, but her good friend Cecelia was able to put on personal protective equipment and stay in the hospital with her that last day and night to comfort her.
Cecelia wrote: “She was my dearest friend for 20+ years. We had many laughs and tears together. She helped me through cancer. I helped her leave the planet on her last night here. I miss her dearly.”
Polly is missed by her close circle of friends and all those whose days she brightened with her warm smile.
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 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.
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.
Jean Lorraine Crocker died from COVID-19 on July 29, 2020 at the age of 70. She grew up in St. Louis and lived her last years in Hillsboro Missouri. She retired after working 20 years as a medical administrative assistant for the St. Louis University School of Medicine.
Jean loved animals, tracing her genealogy and family tree, and spending time with her grandchildren and extended family. She’s remembered as being a sweet caring woman and always having a nice thing to say. Jean Lorraine Crocker is missed deeply by her grandchildren, extended family, and friends.
Thomas R. “Rick” Boul died May 9, 2020 from COVID-19. He was 68 years old. Born in Belleville IL, Rick lived and worked in Belleville most of his life and will be missed by his extended family and friends.
Bruce R. Mausshardt died of COVID-19 on April 20, 2020 at the age of 68 years old. A keyboardist, piano player, and all around musician since he first learned to tickle the ivories at 5 years old, Bruce had played in several bands over the years. He also loved everything about St. Louis from with his favorites being World Wide Magazine, Forest Park, Elicia’s pizza, and Mom’s Deli. Bruce suffered from Alzheimer’s the past 11 years but could respond to his favorite songs, “air piano”, and mouth out the words.
Bruce Mausshardt is missed by his wife of 38 years, his daughter, his step-daughter, his adopted niece, extended family, and everyone who got to hear him play music or knew him as a friend.
Dr. Gaye Griffin-Snyder died of COVID-19 on June 6, 2020 at the age of 71. She was a professional counselor in Missouri, helping people in St. Louis County, Springfield and throughout the state. She also worked as an adjunct graduate professor at Missouri State. She helped out countless people through their struggles with mental health and emotional issues.
Gaye was a woman with endless love, beautiful smiles, and great faith. She loved corvettes, golfing, and vacations in Hawaii. Gaye’s spirit was indomitable and she always had a great sense of humor.
Her daughter Angela wrote “She died with strangers and couldn’t respond to me in any way when I got to say goodbye via video conference. It haunts me constantly.”
Dr. Gaye Griffin-Snyder is missed by her daughter, her son-in-law, her grandchildren, and all the students she taught and people whose lives she helped make better.
Patrick Wayne Vadnais of St. Charles MO died of COVID-19 complications on April 8, 2020 at the age of 70. He was musically inclined and wrote songs, played piano and guitar, sang, and passed his knowledge onto younger folks.
Patrick Vadnais is missed by his daughter, step-father, brothers and sisters, extended family and friends.
Frank Massey, passed of COVID-19 on April 17, 2020 five days after his 68th birthday. He had been married 20 years and had seven children. He served four years in the military as a Marine. After he retired from commercial truck driving, his passion for kids let him to become a school bus driver at the Belleville Township High School District 201.
Frank’s grieving wife gave an emotional interview with News Channel 5 on Your Side on April 18th:
“I want people to know that coronavirus is not a joke. It is not a hoax and it is definitely not fake news because I’m living the nightmare,” Cynthia said.
Frank Massey is missed by his children, grandchildren, extended family, all the kids he drove to and from school and events, and the Greater St. Mark COGIC family.