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.

Sources:

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

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: