LaVerne A. Schlinkmann died on November 8, 2020 from complications of COVID-19 at St. Mary’s Hospital at the age of 99.
LaVerne was born and raised in St. Louis, and worked as a secretary for the old National Screen Co. and then for many years at Monsanto while she and her late husband raised their two sons. Her favorite things in life were her family and church, with music a close third. LaVerne was a lifelong member of St. Paul United Church of Christ on Giles Avenue where she sang in the choir and played in the bell choir, and also kept active with the Phi Beta sorority, the local Toastmistress Club, and as a volunteer usher for the Fox Theatre.
In her later years LaVerne moved into BJC Extended Care in Clayton, where she kept her mind and body sharp by making friends with the other residents and playing piano to the joy of everyone! Her formative youth being shaped by The Great Depression and as a young adult during World War II, LaVerne was known for her optimism and courage against odds and for her kindness and sweet nature.
LaVerne Schlinkmann is missed deeply by her surviving son and daughter-in-law, a brother, extended family, and the many friends she made in life.
Theodore M. Norman Jr. passed from COVID-19 on the morning of April 7, 2020 at the age of 63. He had recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the love of his life, Lynette; and had been retired for just 9 months from his career as a Foundry Lead man and union shop steward.
His daughter wrote this tribute:
“Mr. Theodore M. Norman Jr, of St. Louis Missouri, will be remembered as a man of of courage whose legacy will forever live on and who, in a historic moment of insurmountable courage, transitioned to eternal life in the early hours of Tuesday, April 7, 2020 before the dawn of day.
On Monday, June 17, 1957 a handsome and jolly baby named Theodore Marvin Norman, Jr was born to the union of the late Theodore Norman Sr, and Edna Norman. The eldest of five children Theodore was affectionately known to many as “Marvin”. He was educated within St Louis Public Schools until the family relocated to North County in the Normandy School District, where Marvin became a member of the Normandy Vikings Varsity Basketball team and Art Club focusing on visual abstract design and sketching.
Marvin declared his faith and service to God at an early age at Tre Love Missionary Baptist Church where he was baptized under the pastorate of his father the late Rev. Theodore Norman, Sr. During this time, Marvin actively served the ministry as Deacon on trail and through his gift of song in the Unity Singers Choir. Currently, Rev. Carl Joyce, serves as the Presiding Shepherd where Marvin continued to seek the word of God.
For forty year, Marvin, was employed in the metal casting foundry business having worked with Tower Grove Foundry, Didion& Sons, and Kettler Casting Company Inc, Through his tenure, Marvin acted as a Foundry Lead man and union shop steward and retired in June 2019.
On the joyous occasion of New Year’s Eve, Saturday December 31, 1994 in the presence of God, family, and friends, Marvin and Lynette Cannon cleaved to one another in holy matrimony wherein they bore a son. Together, Marvin, and Lynette enjoyed watching action movies, taking excursions throughout the great outdoors, dinning a local restaurants, and co-caring for their senior parents. To God be the glory they recently, celebrated a quarter of a century of marriage together. Marvin oved to laugh and always enjoyed family and friends gatherings. A celebrated chef and grill master amongst his family, some his culinary specialties were shrimp fettuccini, rabbit stew, and cast-iron hot water cornbread. As a seasoned grill master , Marvin passed much of his and talent to his eldest son. Most of all, Marvin enjoyed communing with nature; it was during these sacred and reflective moments he would cast, out his fishing rod into the rivers and lakes throughout Missouri and Illinois, known for their stocked waters In these tranquil moments, Marvin would enjoy the company of close loved ones while basking in a serine natural atmosphere filled with laughter, sweet music, an ice cold beverage and smoke of choice.
Marvin, our beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, nephew, uncle, cousin, and friend, will forever be remembered in the hearts and minds of those who loved him and those he loved dearly. He leaves to treasure his memory his best friend and wife, Lynette Norman, five children, Latasha (Edward )Gray Sr, Lisa(Joseph) Williams III, Theodore M. Norman III, Marvin Norman, and Brandon Cannon. Six siblings one aunt and four uncles. Mother in law and father in law and one sister in law and brother in law. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, as well as many close friends and relatives.”
Audrey “Yasmine” Ruiz-Smith died of Covid-19 on April 7, 2020 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She was 56.
Audrey was a member of the St. Louis Japanese Society and the Dances of Universal Peace. She was a creative, vibrant, woman who was passionate about social justice causes and improving the lives of everyone. Audrey made a lot of friends in life and touched countless more through her art and activism.
Audrey “Yasmine” Ruiz-Smith is missed deeply by her daughters Taylor and Sally, by her shih-tzu, and by her large circle of friends and fans.
This was a contact from a close friend/family (Sandra)
Dr. Frank E. Siefried, D.D.S., died of COVID-19 on July 24, 2020 in a nursing home.
Frank was originally from St. Louis, went to St. Louis University Dental School and was in private practice in Deerfield, IL for over 40 years before moving back to St. Louis. Professionally, he was known for his skill and gentle touch as a dentist. More important than any of his career achievements (which included serving in our military), Frank was a loving father and husband. He was quick to joke and laugh, or to tell a fascinating story. He loved taking his family on adventures and vacations, spending quality time with his grandkids, and making those around him smile.
Frank spent his last years in St. Louis retired and consummately in love with his wife Bonnie. She cared for him until his health failed and he moved into a skilled nursing facility (where they became friends with Richard “RC” Bartholic and his wife). After the “COVID-19 lockdown” started and residents were put into isolation, Bonnie went to visit him every day through his room’s window and brought food and nutritious shakes for the staff to feed him.
Bonnie wrote, “This lock out of families did not protect the most vulnerable, rather isolated them and left them. There surely must be a better way of dealing in the future. The only peace I have is that he is no longer suffering in that place. This is a terrible, inhumane way of treating our elderly with no recourse.”
Frank is missed deeply by Bonnie his wife, his children and extended family, and friends from all walks of life who were fortunate enough to know him.
This was a contact from a close friend/family (wife)
Juanita Rice died of COVID-19 on August 12, 2020 at the age of 94. Although she was quite old, she had not lost her spitfire spark.
Juanita was known as “Grandma Rice” to all her neighbors, and fearless of the growing crime around her. She was practically a neighborhood institution having lived in her house 67 years. Juanita was very active in Compton Heights Baptist Church, and was involved in the Inner-City Ministry (being their “oldest member”). Juanita worked the election polls for many years, and was active in her neighborhood and community. She loved listening to and going to Cardinals games, playing rummy, shooting pool, and telling a good story.
Juanita genuinely loved people and opened her home to those in need. Through trying to make this world a little better, she taught countless others how to love and to not give up hope, just keep on fighting and believing for a miracle ‘till the end. Faced with hardship in her own life, it only gave her more empathy, and she truly consistently lived her values. She would do anything to help family, a friend or an acquaintance if they needed her. She never gave up!
Juanita is missed by her surviving children, her grand children, extended family, many friends, church, and all her neighbors and those lucky enough to know her in any way.
Lamont Hadley Senior died of COVID-19 on August 21, 2020. He was in his 60s. St. Louis lost an inspiration, treasured voice, and musical legend who still had songs left to sing.
Lamont had been singing since he was in grade-school, and his innate natural talent only blossomed more as he hit his musical stride in the 1980s and 90s, especially after joining the all-male vocal group Master’s Touch. Hadley was still singing and performing until the night before he went to the hospital. Music was truly his passion, and others have written much better and more in depth about Lamont Hadley’s life and many accomplishments. Lamont’s girlfriend of 32 years, Bridgette West, was undoubtedly his other great love. He bonded over music with his son, Lamont Hadley Jr., and took lots of pride in being a great dad.
Lamont Jr. was with his dad the night he almost collapsed while performing at a Master’s Touch reunion concert.
“During the last three songs, he got very weak and had trouble breathing,” Lamont Jr. “I had to bring a stool up on stage for him to sit down.”
The next day, Hadley was taken to the hospital, where he was initially diagnosed with pneumonia. A few days later, Lamont Jr., said doctors informed the family that his father had indeed contracted the dreaded virus.
Although Hadley’s condition continually worsened, West said that she and his family were unprepared for his demise. Since Hadley’s mother and sister had also contracted the virus and survived, they expected a similar outcome.
Sadly, Hadley slipped into a coma and passed on August 21.
Lamont Hadley Sr. is missed not only by his girlfriend, son, family, and friends, but by countless fans and coworkers and everyone whose life he touched while he was on this earth. Undoubtedly, others will discover his music now and in the future, and wish that they had the pleasure of seeing him perform while he was alive and wish he’d lived longer to make more music.
Dorothy J. Lauman passed away on May 7, 2020 from Covid-19, at the age of 96.
Dorothy was born and raised in South St. Louis City, and raised her kids in St. Louis City. She started playing piano at the age of 6, and was still playing it for the residents of Nazareth Living Center up until about a month before she died (90 years!). Music was a big part of her life, and she taught piano to all ages of students throughout her life. She and her late husband were also very involved with sports while raising three boys. Dorothy was active in many parish events, extra-curricular school activities, and volunteer work with Epiphany Catholic Church. She baked 3000 cookies every Christmas and knitted sweaters for family and pets (and her knitted dish-rags “never wore out”). Setting up her Christmas tree, with stories behind ornaments from every year and part of life, is a memory her grandchildren treasure.
Dorothy J. Lauman is missed deeply by her surviving sons, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family and all those whose lives she touched.
Dr. Ruth Louise Beckmann Murray, Ed.D, MSN, RN, CS, N-NAP, DAPA, passed from complications of COVID-19 and pneumonia on June 25, 2020 at the age of 84. Ruth continued her education throughout her life, starting with her nursing degree in 1957 from Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, getting her Masters Degree from Washington University in 1967 in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing – Focus on individual and group counseling & crisis training, and finally her EdD from Southern Illinois University in 1983. Her 40 year career in the nursing department at St. Louis University included roles as a Program Coordinator, Psychiatric-Mental Health Professor for Undergraduate & Graduate Nursing Education, and textbook author (including authoring many versions of Health Promotion Strategies Through the Life Span).
Ruth gave tirelessly to the St. Louis community. Her volunteer work included, according to her obituary: St. Patrick Center where she served as a Member, Board of Trustees and numerous committee roles. She was a member of the Board of Directors for HOPE in 1999-2000, a St Louis Transition Hope House volunteer, American Red Cross volunteer and served with the crisis intervention team in St. Louis Missouri.
Dr. Ruth Louise Beckmann Murray inspired and guided thousands of nursing students in their professional paths as Nurses, helped thousands more in her various other helping roles, and reached countless through her publications and community advocacy. She mentored and profoundly touched many lives personally, as the memories posted on her obituary describe. Her vibrancy, kindness, and love are missed far beyond her immediate and extended family.
PS- I’m including her in the “Healthcare Workers” category, because she remained active in her vocation of nursing long after retiring.
Alvin George Edgell was enjoying his golden years in health at Alexian Brothers Landsdowne Village close to his family when he was struck with COVID-19, over 6 weeks after the nursing home locked down to visitors in an effort to prevent the novel coronavirus. Still very mentally sharp, he was using email to communicate until his last days. Al died on May 4th at the age of 96 with his son, a doctor at the hospital, by his side.
Al had a tremendously adventurous life, which is eloquently detailed in his obituary and public radio story linked in the sources below. A conscientious objector to WWII, his plea was rejected and he served as a medic in a non-combat role. He subsequently served in the Korean War. Al built his career around his passion, doing development work around the world.
In 1986 Al retired from Save The Children. When his wife retired they moved to St. Louis to be closer to their adult children and grandchildren. Al quickly became active in the St. Louis Ethical Society and gave speeches to other groups about world affairs. He published a memoir “Hindseeing: A Life in the World” under the pseudonym Bertram Clive Beardsley.
Alvin George Edgell is missed deeply by his wife of 50 years, his adult children, extended family, and everyone whose lives he touched.
Reverend Carl S. Smith, pastor of New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church and 1st vice president of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition passed away on April 9 of COVID-19. He was 64 years old. He and the love of his life Geraldine would have celebrated 37 years of marriage on June 11.
Rev. Carl Smith preached his last sermon March 22 and shortly afterwards he and Geraldine started coughing. Because of a shortage of beds, they went to different hospitals. Geraldine recovered from COVID-19. As she wrote on a public Facebook post:
Never in a million years would I have thought that I would not be without my best friend, my husband, the love of my life, and the father of my children. I was not able to hold him and say I love you and till we meet again. It’s so hard, but everyday I feel him near. He’s in my heart, in my children, and his friends. To all, thank you for the cards, parades of love and gifts, tears, and prayers. If there is anything the Smith family can do for you as he would have, we are here for you. Always and forever we share the memories of Rev. Carl S. Smith, Sr. He is at Peace.
Carl is deeply missed by his wife, children, his extensive family, and everyone who was fortunate enough to know him in any way. He made a hugely positive impact in St. Louis and touched countless lives.
For a heartwretching tribute to Reverend Carl S. Smith, read the St. Louis Public Radio article in the sources below.
Essie Belinda Johnson died of COVID-19 on April 11, just two days after testing positive. She was 69 years old. She was known for baking the best sweet potato pies and being am amazing mother who had worked her way up at the United States Post Office from sorting mail to being a shop steward.
Essie Belinda Johnson died alone in a hospital, and her family mourned alone. Essie’s daughter Tawanda also caught COVID-19, going into the hospital 5 days after her funeral. Nobody could hug her or be there physically with her as she grieved her mother alone.
Velma Moody, died at Grand Manor Nursing And Rehabilitation on May 1 of COVID-19. She was 86. She was a wonderful friend and older sister to California State Representative Maxine Waters.
““It is one of the most painful things that I’ve ever had to experience in my life,” Rep. Waters told theGrio. “She had suffered. And so we are going through a very difficult time. It was not easy, but in many ways, I’m so glad she’s out of pain.”
“The nursing home is the only place we have for many of our seniors, many of whom have outlived their families,” Rep. Waters told theGrio. “That’s where they go. And now these nursing homes are like a petri dish for the continued development of this virus that is killing us.”
There isn’t much to be found online about Velma Moody’s life that I could find, but check out the links below for news stories that will make you want to scream for change or cry about how many lives are continuing to be lost to COVID-19.
Deborah Nagler grew up in St. Louis and Kansas City and attended Washington University for her undergraduate studies. She died of COVID-19 on April 3 at the age of 66 in Teaneck New Jersey. Deborah was a great mind and accomplished in STEM education and active lifelong in Jewish education.
Dr. Nagler’s degrees and numerous, impactful, professional accomplishments are well written about on her website and in the articles linked to in the sources below.
Deborah is missed by her children, grand children, extended family and her husband. Her students, colleagues and friends miss her deeply. As the St. Louis Jewish Light concluded: “Deborah’s leadership and great love for her family will continue to reach people who may never even know her name, but will live, love, and succeed because of her.”
Monsignor Nicholas Aloys Schneider passed away of complications from COVID-19 on May 5, 2020. He was 89 years old. Throughout his 60+ years of service to the St. Louis Catholic ArchDiocese, he served as a pastor, prison chaplain, was involved with a priest-rabbi dialogue group, and helped countless people in the St. Louis Metro. Monsignor Schneider authored numerous books and articles, and remained active helping others until he could no longer.
Msgr. Schneider is missed by his large extended family and the hundreds (thousands) of people whose lives he helped to make a little brighter.
Fr. James T. Edwards died on May 13, 2020 from complications of COVID-19 and other health issues at the age of 69. He was born in and spent most of his life in St. Louis, attending St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South, Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1976.
He played the guitar, juggled, and wrote songs for children’s Masses and vacation Bible schools. Edwards retired in 2009 due to health issues but remained active in the Catholic Church, serving in 2011 as spiritual director of the archdiocese’s Office of Apostolic Services.
Father Edwards is missed by his immediate family, his colleagues, and the many many lives he touched during his 30+ years of service.
Katherine Bronson, retired welder (Teamsters Local 610) and an excellent cook died peacefully of COVID-19 on May 20, 2020 at aged 96. She was active in her church, Galilee Missionary Baptist, and was known for being witty and direct.
Katherine is missed by her friends and staff at Ascension Living, her church family, and her extended family that survives her.
Cythia Whitfield of Jennings worked as a Certified Medical Technician for Grand Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation, a skilled nursing and rehab home just north of Grand Center in North St. Louis when she started feeling ill with body aches and shortness of breath. Several workers and residents of the facility had already tested positive for COVID-19.
While she was waiting for her COVID-19 test results to come back, Whitfield asked her employer for more paid sick leave and was denied. She went to work feeling sick and worked up until the day before she was admitted to the hospital.
St. Mary’s hospital admitted Cynthia on April 15th and her condition rapidly deteriorated. Within a day she was on a ventilator. April 21st she was transferred to Barnes Jewish Hospital, put on an ECMO machine, and died. She was 58 years old.
Cynthia’s mother, Beverly Raybon, was admitted to the hospital on April 14th with symptoms of severe COVID. She didn’t even know her daughter had died. Beverly Raybon passed away on May 16, and it’s unclear to me if she also died of Covid but all signs point to that.
Cynthia Whitfield leaves behind four children, her husband of over 40 years Richard Jones Spencer, her father, brother, extended family, friends, as well as leaving behind her underpaid coworkers, and a fucked up system.