Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings, a high school physical education teacher in East St. Louis IL (district 189) died of COVID-19 on April 16, 2020.

Less than a year before her untimely death from coronavirus, Kim had helped the Flyerettes of East St. Louis win the Illinois Class 2A state championship (in May 2019), their first state championship since 2011. She worked as a physical education teacher and a track and field coach for many years.

Kim Jennings touched countless lives as a teacher and coach. She undoubtedly imparted values and ideals of teamwork, facing adversity, and practicing to reach top performance to thousands of children during her time as a teacher. She was vivacious and was looking forward to more years working in her vocation.

“When I would bring my Granddaughter, Jaleah out to practice, I’m looking to see the man, Coach Fennoy. Jaleah would say to me, PaPa, we don’t need the man, there’s Coach Jennings. Coach Jennings did so much for the kids. She also taught me to stay out of the way. COACH will be missed. We all loved you.”

LS
Larry T Hampton Sr
Posted Apr 30, 2020 at 04:36pm to Kim Jennings’ obituary

Kim Jennings is missed deeply by her family, friends, and the thousands of lives she touched over her many years as a teacher.

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Mary Smith

Photo credit: KSDK

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.

Jennings School District went virtual on November 18th, and no students or staff were exposed to Smith after she contracted the novel coronavirus

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.

An obituary had not been published as of this writing; this post will be edited and added to as more is learned. Originally published December 9 around 8:30pm.

Sadly, Mary Smith is not the first education professional in St. Louis to die of COVID-19 – please see this page memorializing those that I know about.

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https://twitter.com/kdeeswenson/status/1336474397759197184/photo/1

Carol A. Strawbridge, retired school principal

Carol Strawbridge St. Louis Covid19 death

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. She was 73 years old. Carol was a retired teacher and school principal, an active board member at the League of Women Voters, and taking all the precautions that she could to avoid catching COVID-19.

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.


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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.”

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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:

Eureka High School Counselor Sandra J. “Sandy” Kearney

Sandy Kearney passed of COVID-19 in St. Louis County on April 2, 2020
Image credit: Sandra Kearney’s Obituary

Sandy Kearny started having flu-like symptoms on March 24th, and in less than two weeks she passed of COVID-19 at the age of 70. She was placed on a ventilator within two days of diagnosis, and her daughter was able to put on a full body protective suit to say goodbye in person.

Sandy worked as a guidance counselor at Eureka High School since 1993 and as an educator since the 80s. The children she worked with, and her coworkers, could not comfort eachother in person due to the school being closed and restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

She leaves behind her husband, her brother, her twin sister, adult children, and numerous grandchildren.

She’s is missed terribly by her family, the children whose lives she touched, and her community.

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

Sources and links to more about Sandy Kearney’s life are: