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Remembering 5 People Who Died During The Coronavirus Pandemic


This morning, we're remembering some of the lives lost to the coronavirus. Here are five tributes behind this week's grim milestone of 100,000 U.S. deaths.


Zeke Cisneros was known to his family as their good luck token. He was 64 when he died of COVID-19 last month. His stepdaughter, Angie Monroe, shared this memory.

ANGIE MONROE: I know for a fact that he just loved my mom dearly. Like, he was the epitome of a gentleman. He was the type of guy that would, like, open the door for her. When they first started dating, he would always buy flowers for her, and she would be like, why did you do this? And just because I love you.

MARTIN: Dez-Ann Romain was 36 years old when she died of COVID-19. She was a school principal in New York City. Her childhood friend Mohamed Q. Amin recalls how she had a knack for connecting with people.

MOHAMED Q AMIN: You know, I remember at 18 years old, I was struggling with my faith and silently suffering from debilitating anxiety and confusion over my sexual orientation. And Dez-Ann was there for me. After coming out to her, she jokingly said, I guess this means we can't get married now, but I still love you (laughter).

GREENE: Kyle Brown wrote on Facebook about his struggle to get tested in Marshalltown, Iowa. The 54-year-old ended his last post with, stay healthy, friends. Kyle Brown's death from COVID-19 has been reported by many organizations in Iowa. His friend, Aubrey Does, says all that coverage would surprise him.

AUBREY DOES: He never would believe the amount of attention that he's received because he was just a really humble and pretty reserved and quiet guy, unless he was doing the Carlton (laughter). He could do a perfect Carlton.

GREENE: The Carlton is that goofy dance by character Carlton Banks in the '90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air."

MARTIN: Arnold Obey ran 38 consecutive New York City marathons. He died of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico. He was 73. His daughter Celisse says she grew up watching him run.

CELISSE: He used to get up at, like, 5 in the morning. And he would run in the wintertime, you know, and he would come back from running, and I'm getting ready leave to go to school, and he would have icicles formed on his beard. Around the neighborhood, he was known as the mayor because everywhere he ran, he would always say, hey, how are you doing? You know, everywhere he was running, he was always waving at somebody or somebody's beeping, so we called him the mayor (laughter).

GREENE: And finally, we remember Wallace Roney. Jazz fans remember him as a protege of the trumpeter Miles Davis. His fiancee, Dawn Jones, shares this more personal memory.

DAWN JONES: I miss when we might be listening to music in the living room, and I would fall asleep sometimes on the couch, and he would just sit there and watch me sleep like a guardian angel. I'll miss when I would come in from work, and he would have the door open and this great big smile when I would walk through the door. I think all the stars in the sky multiplied by themselves would not equal how much I will miss him.

GREENE: Wallace Roney was 59 years old when he died of complications from COVID-19. Five people, five lives lost as the United States tallies more than 100,000 deaths to coronavirus.

(SOUNDBITE OF WALLACE RONEY'S "DON'T STOP ME NOW") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.