This site is dedicated to the people in St. Louis who lost their lives due to COVID-19. It’s important to tell their stories and to have a visual representation of their faces so that they may never become “just numbers” in this tragic deadly epidemic.
Please fill out the contact form and reach out if you would like to submit the story of a deceased person, help me out with this project, or just “say hi”.
Paul Rusnack MD, a retired clinical pathologist, died of COVID-19 related pneumonia at the age of 87 on August 3, 2020 at Belleville Memorial Hospital in Belleville Illinois. After completion of his four-year pathology residency program at Saint Louis University, Paul served as Director of the 5th Army Medical Laboratory in St. Louis, MO. He worked as a certified clinical pathologist at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, IL, for 22 years until he retired in 1988. Paul Rusnack is missed deeply by his wife of 61 years, his children, grandchildren, and extended family.
Ruth Sandler died of COVID-19 on August 27, 2020 at the age of 94.
Ruth was a dedicated wife to her late husband, and a wonderful loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was a kind and sweet friend and was always there when you needed some help.
Ruth Sandler is missed by her family, extended family, and friends.
Brenda Susan Schaeg (nee St. Onge) died of COVID-19 on April 28. She worked as a receptionist at Bethesda Meadow Skilled Nursing Facility in Ellisville, MO. She was known for making extra time to visit with the residents, considered them her friends, and often socialized with them when she was not on the clock. Her coworkers looked forward to coming to work on the shifts that Brenda was scheduled.
LaVerne A. Schlinkmann died on November 8, 2020 from complications of COVID-19 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.
Margaret A. Schmidt died of COVID-19 on May 27 at Nazareth Living Center. She was 87 years old. In 2002, she retired from the family business, Schmidt Equipment and Supply Inc., where she'd worked as a book keeper and secretary. She was known for making amazing fruit cakes and enjoying Manhattans and card games.
Jerome D. Schneider died of complications from COVID-19 on June 26, 2020 at the age of 93. He was a twice widowed former accountant who, even though the ravages of Alzheimers, still enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra and eating cheese blintzes.
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.
Daniel Edward Schroeder of Ballwin MO died of COVID-19 on December 10, 2020 at the age of 61. Dan found true joy and happiness in being the most amazing father to his three girls and husband to his wife of 37 years. He worked tirelessly to provide for them, and was looking forward to retiring from Davis Tool and Die in 2021 to spend even more time with his beloved family (including his first newborn grandson). Dan enjoyed fishing, watching ball games, playing almost any game, bowling, backyard gardening, and the outdoors in general. He was always there to lend a hand, listen, and quietly make things better behind the scenes in his quiet solid way. He never missed even the smallest milestone or event with his daughters, no matter how insignificant. As his obituary put it, "Dan Schroeder was not a man of many words, but he was a man full of love."
Richard Schweigler died of COVID-19 on November 16, 2020 at the age of 86 alone except for the hospital chaplain at his side. Richard was born and raised in St. Louis and retired after 35 years as a civil engineer for the Missouri Highway Department; but his true passion was hockey and sports. He worked St. Louis Blues games as an off-ice official since the team's inception in 1967 until 1994, most of that time as a goal judge. He also played hockey himself, coached and refereed. Richard also played minor league baseball, coached baseball and umpired men's softball.
Dr. Frank E. Siefried, D.D.S., died of COVID-19 on July 24, 2020 in a nursing home.
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. After the "COVID-19 lockdown" started and residents were put into isolation, Bonnie went to visit him every day through his room's window.
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."
Robert "Bob" Shiflet died of Covid-19 on April 16, 2020 after a "short but terrifying battle" with the virus.
Rob was intelligent, gentle, and soft spoken. He happily raised his family while he worked as a biochemist at Sigma Chemical for 37 years. In his off time, Rob was passionate about music. He performed clarinet in the Compton Heights Concert Band, and sang bass in the church choir at First Baptist Church in Ferguson (being very active in the music ministry there). Bob passed his love of music on to his three daughters. Becky took after her father and for many years they both played clarinet in the Compton Heights Concert Band.
Evelyn Slater of Washington MO passed away of COVID-19 on April 15, 2020. Evelyn was a kind, nurturing woman. Besides taking excellent care of her husband (who preceded her in 2009) and family, she worked for many years as a nurse's aid. Evelyn died a few days after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Reverend Carl S. Smith, pastor of New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church and 1st vice president of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition
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.
Mary Smith, a special education teacher, died from complications of COVID-19 on December 8, 2020 at the age of 49. She taught for 21 years with the Special School District of St. Louis County, most recently teaching first graders at Fairview Elementary in Jennings. According to KSDK's reporting, "Smith lived with her mother and was her primary caregiver. The week of Thanksgiving, Smith's mother contracted COVID-19 and died a short time later...". The seven students that Mary taught were individually notified, and staff at Fairview held a "therapy session" after the news broke. Counselors are available for students and staff to help them deal with this loss. Mary Smith was much loved by all those who knew her, and special education was her true calling in life. She is deeply missed by all her former students, children of all ages who she helped out in life, her coworkers, and her family.
Melvin Solomon died from complications of COVID-19 on May 14 at Memorial Hospital in Belleville IL. At 90 years old, he was a WWII veteran and had earned the World War II Victory Medal for his service. After the war, he and his wife Phyllis raised their family, while Melvin worked 30 years at the United States Post Office serving as a letter carrier (ultimately working his way up to supervisor). He also moonlighted as a taxi cab driver, and had lots of stories to tell from doing that!
Melvin Solomon is remembered as a kind and generous friend and as a loving father and grandpa. He's missed by his family and every one who knew him every day.
Anita LaKay Sprankle, of French Village in St. Francois County died of COVID-19 on May 5th, 2020 at Eden Village Retirement Center in Glen Carbon, Illinois. She's missed by her two sons, daughter, grandchildren, and those who knew her. Her family really hopes that we find a cure for COVID-19 and supports The McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University.
Danny Stephens of Bridgeton, MO lost his fight with COVID-19 on April 24, 2020. He was 70 years old. Danny was passionate about helping people, and got his Masters degree from UMSL He worked at the Missouri State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for 35 years as he raised his family.
Raymond Stoltz passed away at Laclede Groves Assisted Living from Covid-19 complications on January 23, 2021 at the age of 89. Ray was a Korean War Air Force veteran and a 40-year retiree from McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. He was a devoted husband and caregiver until his wife passed 4 years ago.
R. Richard Straub died of COVID-19 after a brief battle with the virus on November 24, 2020 at the age of 88.
Dick grew up in Webster Groves, graduated with honors from Princeton University, and served as 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. After his time in the military, he moved back to St. Louis and completed his J.D. at Washington University with the Order of the Coif. Dick raised his two girls with his beloved wife while he practiced corporate law at Lewis Rice. At the age of 48 he had a major stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body but fortunately left his sharp mind fully intact. In this early retirement Dick threw himself into volunteering and supporting worthy causes (including providing free legal counsel via SCORE, tutoring children, and helping other stroke victims), living life to the fullest (and still golfing, with the use of only one arm). In 2014 he moved from his home of 50 years to The Gatesworth extended care facility.
Carol Strawbridge was admitted to the hospital on May 3, and died of COVID-19 on May 21 with her family watching 15 minutes away on Facetime as a nurse held her hand. The much loved matriarch of her extensive family, Carol Strawbridge left an indelible mark on her community she helped, the kids she taught, and everyone who was fortunate to know her in any way.
Paul passed away on April 28, 2020 at the age of 88 from complications of COVID-19. He enjoyed nothing more than a cold Stag beer, boating, and Cardinals baseball. He was an active member of the O'Fallon VFW and the Augusta American Legion.
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.
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.
Irene A. Taschler died July 20, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. She was 95 years old. Irene was a respected former executive secretary at Emerson Electric. She stayed active with her late husband, visiting their second home in Hawaii and traveling often to see family in Austria. In her later years she loved volunteering at St. Anthony's Medical Center (Mercy South Hospital).Irene Taschler is missed deeply by her adult children, great grandchildren, and extended family both here in St. Louis and in Vienna, Austria.
Paul “Randy” Tite of Brighton, Illinois died from Covid-19 on September 9, 2020 at Alton Memorial Hospital. He was 74 years old. Randy worked as a laborer for Labor Local #338 in Wood River and raised three kids with his wife Brenda, who he married right after high-school in 1964. He was a star pitcher on softball leagues, inducted into the USA Softball Hall of Fame MVP in 1975, and also loved fishing.
Carol Ann Todd was beating cancer when she was struck with COVID-19. She went to the emergency room feeling ill and never saw her family again.
One of her daughters, Vanessa Trotman had just lost her mother-in-law to COVID-19 the day before on May 9th. Vanessa and her husband, faced with deaths of both of their mothers, had to grieve physically apart from family, friends, and church.
Audrey M. Tonies died of COVID-19 on November 2, 2020 at Dammert Geriatric Care Center in Belleville Illinois at the age of 91. Her favorite holiday was Christmas, which she loved hosting every year (even continuing family celebrations at the Shrine Apartment Community). She'd hoped that COVID-19 would have gotten under control so that she could celebrate with her large family this year.
Patrick Wayne Vadnais of St. Charles died of COVID-19 complications on April 8 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.
John Vernier, a 62 year old Registered Nurse at Mercy Hospital South in St. Louis died of COVID-19 on January 12, 2021. John was retired from the US Navy where he served for 21 years on submarines and served during Operation Desert Storm. After retiring from the military, John went back to school for his RN degree, and took a few classes with his daughter Christine who was also in nursing school. John had a true helper's heart and was always there at any time for his family, friends, and coworkers.He had three daughters with his wife of 37 years, and LOVED being a grandpa. John was looking forward to retiring from his second career and enjoying more family time.
Toni died of COVID-19 on October 15th, 2020 at the age of 79.
Toni married Bill Walker 54 years ago and raised three daughters with him. She loved nothing more than spending time with family and closely following and participating in her 5 grandkids' activities. She and Bill loved traveling together and they were never far apart. Toni was a long-time member of The St. Louis Women’s Club, Algonquin Golf Club, and St. Vincent De Paul Parish.
Rosie Mae Walker passed at Saint Louis University Hospital of COVID-19 with her family watching via video on their phones and iPads on April 9, 2020 at the age of 87. It's thought that she caught COVID-19 at a family BBQ in early March after which several family members became ill; one of her sons was still recovering at another hospital when he found out she was dying alone.
Rosie Walker was the family matriarch, with 15 children of her own and a tremendously large extended family including two great-great grandchildren. She was widowed twice and retired to St. Claire Illinois to be close to family and joined the Mount Moriah COGIC in Centreville. Rosie would give her heart and soul to help anyone in need.
Gregory J. Warnecke of Belleville, Illinois died of COVID-19 on December 31, 2020, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital at the age of 90. Greg would make handtools and decorative pieces out of wood as a child growing up in Clinton County. After he finished serving in the United States Army Security Agency, he went to work as cabinetmaker with the Markus Cabinet Company, before switching to working on residential and commercial projects. Greg's love of woodworking was possibly only exceeded by his love for his wife, who he recently celebrated 58 years of marriage with in May 2020. In retirement, Greg liked traveling, fishing, spending time with family, but he continued his passion for woodworking through designing and building furniture for his home and for St. Mary's Church in Belleville. His craftsmanship can be seen on the "refurbished sacristy cabinets, both the Easter candle and Advent wreath stands, credence table, and extensive restoration of our Pieta statue and the figures in our Christmas Creche, to name a few."
As written: "My mom (Carolyn Washington) age 78 . (Died) May 20, 2020 [of COVID-19]. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She had a heart of gold and she loved her family unconditionally."
Delores E. Weekly died of COVID-19 on November 30, 2020 at the age of 91. She lived in Overland MO for most of her life, and was an active member of the Overland Historical Society. Delores was a skilled quilter and knitter. After retiring from Pet Foods, she sewed gifts for her family and friends, and donated her handcrafts to charities. She loved doing many things, but lunch with friends was her favorite activity of all. Delores was known for her independent, cheerful spirit.
Elaine Anita Weir of Des Peres (St. Louis County) passed of COVID-19 on July 20, 2020. She was 78 years old and also had Alzheimers, but her gentle personality still showed through until the very end. Elaine was appreciated by her friends and family for her pot roast and skills at baking from scratch. She helped the St. Louis community through her volunteer work with the St. Patrick's Center and Birthright charities. Elaine Anita Weir is missed by her seven grandchildren, surviving brothers and a sister... and of course, all her friends and the many people whose lives she touched.
Sonny Wells of Farmington MO died of COVID-19 at Mercy Jefferson Hospital on December 30, 2020 at the age of 71. He was a 30 year retiree from the Pipefitters Union Local #562 and served six years during wartime in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Barbara Ann White died of COVID-19 in St. Peters, MO on May 20, 2020 at the age of 93. She obtained her degree in social work from Washington University. Barbara loved her family, her husband (who preceded her), her cats (who also preceded her), and her friends. She lived an interesting and long life, and gave so much!
Cynthia Whitfield, loving mother and St. Louis nursing home medical technician
Cynthia Whitfield was denied paid sick leave by the skilled care facility she worked at and went to work feeling ill. She worked up until the day before she was admitted to the hospital. Cynthia Whitfield leaves behind four children, her husband of over 40 years, family, friends, as well as leaving behind her underpaid coworkers, and a fucked up system.
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.
Mark Wilhold of Fairmont City, IL died of COVID-19 in a hospital on December 3, 2020 at the age of 59. Mark worked for Kiesel fuel, & Consolidated Ice & Fuel most of his life. He had a son and a daughter with his ex-wife, and a grandson who he loved very much. Mark was close with his family and circle of good friends, and would do anything for a friend.
Afi Williams died of COVID-19 on August 6 at the age of 47. He grew up in Jennings, attended University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), and was a devoted father to his three children. Afi had a true zest for life, that was enthusiastically communicated to all who knew him.
Afi was an "essential worker" at a hardware store in Florissant (according to Facebook comments) and he thought he caught COVID-19 from a coworker who had recently gone to a large party. The coworker came to work sick and was sent home, but not before he gave it to Afi (and maybe others).
Afi's family wrote in his GoFundMe memorial fund:
To the world, Afi is another statistic that gets lumped into the life loss and cloud of chaos that have become the norm of this unthinkable pandemic. But let us take this time to reflect and understand that there are faces and families…love and life…heartbreak and pain associated with each number, dot and line on those daily totals and data charts we’ve seen flashing across our TV and computer screens.
Carol Lee Wood died of COVID-19 on November 24, 2020.
She and her husband of 64 years were active with the South Side Church of God in Sappington MO, and were greatly enjoying retirement together.
Carol Lee Wood is missed deeply by her husband, surviving daughter, grandchildren, great grandchildren, extended family and friends.
Edith Woodcock of Washington, MO died April 12 from complications of COVID-19. She was 79.
Edith retired from Husky Manufacturing in Pacific MO and especially in her retirement loves square dancing and enjoying the outdoors. She was a lifelong supporter of veterans causes and a generous kind friend.
Sharon Kay Wylder of Carlyle Illinois died from complications of COVID-19 on December 29, 2020 at the age of 78. Sharon grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois attended St. Teresa's Academy and graduated from St. John's School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse. As a nurse, she cared for everyone from nursing home residents to newborns. Sharon raised her five kids with her late husband, and loved it when she was able to retire and spend more time with her grand kids.
Fatama Lucille Yamnitz married Alva “Al” Yamnitz in 1952 and they had two sons. They lived happily in Normandy, MO until COVID-19 took both their lives. Fatama passed on April 8, 2020 and Al died three days later on April 11 in the same hospital.
"My grandmother Dorothy survived and fought all of the common ailments that have plagued the African American community for years: Diabetes, Breast Cancer, etc...but Covid-19 hit her living facility and a couple days after my election as Committee woman she succumbed quickly and passed away in an area hospital. Away from her son, the only child, family who had to watch her transition via Zoom, but is in the medical profession. Covid 19 took a beautiful person away from us August 6, 2020 at the beautiful of age of 86..rest easy Grandma Dot."
Betsey Elaine Young of St. Clair MO died of COVID-19 on December 1, 2020 at the age of 47. Her parents and sister were allowed to be with her before she was removed from the ventilator. She passed shortly after. Betsey made Christmas ornaments every year for her friends and family. Her boyfriend since 2011 was ready to propose to her this Christmas. She also loved her four cats, her job working for the Missouri Department of Social Services in the Family Support Division, and called her mother every single night. Any kind of travel, but especially to the beach, was a welcome escape and adventure! Betsey was always there to help her friends and her cheerful compassion quickly made everything all better.
Clifford Russell Youngstrom, a WWII veteran, passed away on May 15, 2020 in hospice care at St. Luke's Hospital after a courageous battle with COVID-19. Due to restrictions, his loved ones were unable to be at his side, but they spoke continuously with him phone to let him know their love and support.