Robert Elsperman – Former Tarlton President

On March 30, Robert “Rob” Elsperman, the former Tarlton Corp president, was admitted to a St. Louis-area hospital with COVID-like symptoms. He died of complications from COVID-19 eight days later on April 7. He was 83.

Rob took over from his father as president of the Tarlton Corporation from 1977 to 1999. During this time under his leadership Tarlton’s construction projects shaped St. Louis including key projects for The Muny, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo, and Washington University.

He’s remembered for leading through example and having genuine respect for the tradespeople in the field who actually do the work. While working for Tarlton in the 1960s, Rob served eight years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve where he reached the rank of captain.

Three days after Rob Elsperman’s death, Tarlton Corp working with the Missouri National Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, completed construction and conversion of a Florissant hotel to an alternate care facility to treat non-acute COVID-19 patients.


Jenniffer Anderson-Davis – Nurse working at Meramec Bluffs senior living community in Ballwin (St. Louis County)

Jenniffer Anderson-Davis St. Louis COVID19 death
Image source: Facebook

Jenniffer Anderson-Davis was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) living in Hazelwood and working at the Meramec Bluffs Senior Living Center in Ballwin (St. Louis County). She tested positive on April 9 and died of COVID-19 at home five days later on April 14th. She was only 44 years old.

Jeniffer worked hard as a single mom to three kids and gave them everything she could. She loved the residents that she cared for, her family, her friends and her church. She is missed very much by all of them.


Joan Eileen Byrne – retired guidance counselor and pet lover

Joan Byrne St. Louis COVID-19 deathJoan E. Byrne passed away of COVID-19 on April 18th, 2020 at the age of 87. She spent most of her career to advocating for students in the Parkway School system as a guidance counselor. She found true joy in helping others.

Joan grew up in St. Louis and graduated from Webster University in 1951, eventually going back and getting her masters. She loved her two adopted sons and her pets, and was a great friend to many.

Joan E. Byrne is missed by her sons, her extended family, her many friends and acquaintances, and all the people whose lives she touched as a guidance counselor.


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.”


Paul E. Struckhoff, Korean War Veteran

Paul E. Struckhoff, Korean War Veteran COVID19 Death

Paul passed away on April 28, 2020 at the age of 88 from complications of COVID-19. He proudly served in the Korean War and afterwards moved from Augusta to O’Fallon to marry the love of his life (Marjorie, who preceded him).

Struckhoff enjoyed drinking cold Stag beer, boating, and Cardinals baseball. He loved telling stories about all the trouble he and his pals got into back in the day. He was an active member of the O’Fallon VFW and the Augusta American Legion.

Paul Struckhoff is missed dearly by his family, all his buddies at the VFW and American Legion, 7 great grandchildren, and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.


Edith L. Woodcock

Edith Woodcock Franklin County MO COVID-19 death

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.

Edith Woodcock is missed by her adult children, extended family, and many friends that she made in life.


Dr. William G. Ridgeway, M.D. Ophthalmologist for over 40 years

Dr. Ridgeway St. louis Covid19 death

Dr. William Ridgeway served two years in the US Air Force as a flight surgeon with the rank of Captain before completing his residency in ophthalmology at Washington University. He decided he loved St. Louis, put down roots here, and served three generations of patients as an ophthalmologist in St. Louis and South St. Louis County. He died of COVID-19 on April 24, 2020. He was 85 years old.

In addition to practicing ophthalmology for over 40 years, William also had season tickets to the Cardinals and Blues for 40 years. He also loved WWII history, golfing, and skiing.

Dr. Ridgeway is missed by his wife, large extended family, his staff who loved working for him, and his generations of eye patients young and old.


Ursula Milla – master seamstress

Ursula Milla died of COVID-19 complications on April 15, 2020 at age 94. She’d immigrated from Germany in 1951 and continued as a master seamstress. She loved sharing her heritage with friends and the neighborhood. She was a devoted mother and is missed by her extended family, friends, and neighbors.


Phillip A. Catanzaro – died suddenly of COVID-19

Phillip A. Catanzaro

Phillip Catanzaro died April 26 of COVID-19. After struggling with it for a month, he thought he was doing better and was looking forward to coming home to his wife of 48 years. Instead he went home to God. Phillip was 75 years old.

Catanzaro served in the Army Reserves, worked in the family business (St. Louis Banana & Tomato Co.), and operated the original Chesterfield License Bureau.

His family wants to thank the healthcare workers who cared so well for Phillip in his last days and they request that “In lieu of flowers, we request that you do everything you can to fight this horrific COVID virus.”


Covid Train song by Straightline Studio – written and originally performed at Phil’s celebration of life, but dedicated to all the Phils and Pattys:

Margaret Pauley “Peggy” Gundlach

St. Louis MO covid death Margaret Pauley Gundlach
Image Source: obituary

Margaret Pauley “Peggy” Gundlach died on April 12, 2020 at the age of 80 after being diagnosed with lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, and COVID-19. She loved crosswords, trivia, the arts, traveling (having accomplished going to all 7 continents), and was a longtime member of the St. Louis Zoo.

She saw the best in everyone and is remembered as being relentlessly positive.

Margaret is missed by her husband of 67 years, her adult children, her grandchildren, and the many friends she made.


Dr. Fred Phillip Handler, committed husband, devoted father, epic storyteller

Dr. Fred Phillip Handler died of coronavirus complications on April 20, 2020 at the age of 95. He had lived a long and love filled life. The son of immigrants, his parents placed a high value on education and his mother made sure that her children attended college and graduate school.

He completed his medical degree from Washington University and completed his residency in pathology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and joined the staff there. In 1951 he was sent to Asia to serve in the military and became an expert in tropical and parasitic infections, creating an extensive reference slide collection.

After he finished his military service, Fred and his wife Estelle moved to Jefferson City where they raised their family and Fred practiced pathology at St. Mary’s Hospital and Memorial Community Hospital. Fred was a mentor and teacher to many of the aspiring doctors and nurses who he crossed paths with.

In 1984 Fred and Estelle moved back to St. Louis and enjoyed their retirement. A voracious reader and observer of nature, Fred never stopped learning. He also loved fishing, the St. Louis Symphony, classical music, and live theatre.

His wife of 72 years preceded him in death on December 10, 2019.

Dr. Handler is loved and missed by his adult children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and all the friends and acquaintances whose lives he touched over the years.


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.


Cynthia Sue Jenkins, unbreakable spirit and kind friend

Image credit Cynthia Sue Jenkins obituary on 

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.


La Leche member, new parent and breast feeding advocate Ethel Ann Doskocil

Ethel Ann Doskocil St. Louis County COVID-19 Death

Ethel Ann Doskocil died of COVID-19 April 2, 2020 at Mercy South Hospital in St. Louis County. She was a St. Louis native who lived here her whole 87 years.

Ethyl was an advocate for breast feeding and fathers in the delivery room. She was known as a woman who genuinely loved making others happy and sharing their joy.

She’s greatly missed by her husband of 66 years, John Doskocil, two sons, grandchildren, and extended family.


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:

Educator, mother, and caregiver: Lisa Ann (Plamp) Steelman

After Lisa Steelman’s mother was released from a rehabilitation facility, she became her caregiver (as well as being a full time mother to an autistic son herself). Apparently one of the staff at the rehab facility had COVID and soon after Lisa started complaining of fatigue and chest congestion….

According to her GoFundMe page:

 … That was Thursday night (April 9).  Friday morning, Lisa couldn’t get up from the couch that she was sleeping on by my mom’s bed and was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital.  Friday night we were told that they were running several tests and trying to stabilize her.  We were semi -encouraged.  Saturday morning we woke to the totally unexpected news that “Lisa probably wouldn’t make it”.  No one could go see her except Perry, her husband who was allowed to be at her side when she passed away from  COVID virus complications. 

Lisa Steelman’s GoFundMe page to benefit her autistic son

Lisa Ann Plamp Steelman of Bridgeton died of COVID-19 on April 11th. She was 56. It was suspected due to exposure and symptoms that her husband and son also had COVID. Her mother Marjorie Plamp passed 5 days later on April 16; it’s unclear if she also died of COVID.

Along with her husband, son, and extended family, Lisa Ann leaves behind the children at Rose Acres Elementary in Maryland Heights where she was a paraprofessional for the past 14 years.

Please contact me if you’d like to add anything or if anything is accidentally wrong here.

Sources and links to more about Lisa Ann Steelman’s life are:

Fatama Lucille Yamnitz and Alva F. Yamnitz

Fatama Lucille Yamnitz and Alva F. Yamnitz died of COVID-19 within days of eachother
Image credit for Fatama and Alva Yamnitz: Perryville News

Fatama Lucille (White) Yamnitz married the love of her life, Alva “Al” Yamnitz in 1952 and they had two sons. Al retired from the Army and ended up working as a baker for Kroger for 38 years.

The Yamnitzs lived happily in the St. Louis suburb of Normandy 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. Al was 89, Fatama was 85.

They both were involved with the Scouts together, and eventhough they had no daughters Lucille was involved with the Girl Scouts and was much loved by her troop member “daughters”. Lucille and Alva traveled the country together by car and camped and visited along the way. For their 50th wedding anniversary they took a cross country train trip.

Fatama and Alva are survived by their two sons, grandchildren, church family, and community who loved and missed them dearly.

I couldn’t find any pictures of them online, so I just combined the two pics from their obituaries as the main photo here. It looks like it used to be one pic!


St. Louis Covid Death: Arnette M. (Laury) Reeg

Arnette Reeg died on Saturday, April 13, of COVID-19. She was 87. The assisted care facility she lived for four years went into lockdown in mid-March, so her family who had previously visited her every single day could not be with her except on the phone. She had only very mild dementia and still could have lived several more years.

Arnette spent the last 8 days of her life alone and confused in her bed at the hospital as her condition deteriorated after at first seeming stable. When she was transported to the emergency room, her cell phone was forgotten, so phone calls and communication with her sons and daughters was painfully additionally limited.

She’s survived by 20 great-grandchildren and a huge extended family who miss her every day.

I could find no pictures of her online. It’s unclear if she lived in St. Louis City or County or if she was from St. Louis. I’m guessing St. Louis County, but someone please correct me if this is wrong.

Sources for