LaVerne Annette Schlinkmann

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.

Sources:

Audrey “Yasmine” Ruiz-Smith

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.

Audrey fell ill with COVID-19 in late March and was quickly placed on a ventilator. She got the best care possible at BJC.
From Facebook – Audrey “Yasmine” Ruiz-Smith died of COVID-19

Sources:

Juanita Rice

Juanita Rice St. Louis City COVID-19 death

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.

Sources:

Juanita Rice obituary at Dignity Memorial 

Lamont Hadley Sr.

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.

According to the St. Louis American:

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.

Sources:

Dorothy J. Lauman

Dorothy Lauman COVID-19

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.

Sources:

Dr. Ruth Louise Beckmann Murray, EdD, MSN, RN, CS, N-NAP, DAPA

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.

Sources:

Alvin George Edgell – Humanitarian, WWII & Korean War veteran

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.

Sources:

Reverend Carl S. Smith, pastor of New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church and 1st vice president of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition

Rev. Carl Stanley Smith

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.

Sources:

Essie Belinda Johnson

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.

The only source that I found for this post was the tearjerking article on the St. Louis Post Dispatch: Sick alone, mourning alone: COVID-19 hits the elderly and African Americans the hardest in Missouri

Velma Moody – Maxine Waters Sister

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.

Sources:

Dr. Deborah Kantor Nagler, educational technologist

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.”

Sources:

Monsignor Nicholas Aloys Schneider – compassionate pastor, author, and liturgist

Monsignor Nicholas Aloys Schneider - compassionate pastor, author, and liturgist

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.

Sources:

Funeral Mass for Monsignor Nicholas Aloys Schneider

Father James T. Edwards, retired parish pastor and noted musician

Fr. James T. Edwards Covid-19 death

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.

Sources

Patricia Ann Hennessey

Patricia Ann Hennessey St. Louis COVID-19 death
Image source: Obituary

Patricia Ann Hennessey passed of COVID-19 on April 21, 2020. She was 67 years old.

She is loved and missed by her sisters and large extended family and friends.

Her family would like memorial donations to be made in her name to either the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, or the American Cancer Society.

Sources:

Cynthia Sue Jenkins, unbreakable spirit and kind friend

Image credit Cynthia Sue Jenkins obituary on Legacy.com 

Cynthia Sue Jenkins died on April 26 of COVID-19 with her daughter at her side. She’d previously resided in an assisted care facility and was much loved by the staff and friends that she made there.

Cynthia was known for being kind, resilient, generous, and a great friend who always had time to listen. Her life was not easy, but she always bounced back and had an unbreakable spirit.

Cynthia is missed greatly by her daughter, extended family, and the many friends that she made during her 74 years of life.

Sources:

Katherine Louise Bronson – retired welder

Image credit: Legacy.com obituary

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.

Sources:

Cynthia Whitfield, loving mother and St. Louis nursing home medical technician

Cynthia Whitfield St. Louis COVID Death nursing home worker
Source: FaceBook

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.

I could not find a memorial fund for this family.

Sources below: