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Collin College Student Dies After Contracting COVID-19

The Plano Campus (Spring Creek) is part of the Collin College system.
Wikimedia Commons
The Plano Campus (Spring Creek) is part of the Collin College system.

An adult student who attended Collin College’s technical campus in Allen has died after contracting COVID-19.

Collin College district president Neil Matkin announced the news during a Tuesday board meeting.

He identified the student as Rogelio Martinez and said the student had worked for three decades in the HVAC field, and recently attended Collin College to sharpen his skills. As the board meeting neared its conclusion, Matkin talked about Martinez.

“In early September, he tested positive for COVID-19," Matkin said. "He then contracted pneumonia. His illness was too much for his body to fight. We were notified by his widow that he passed away Oct. 2 due to a heart attack.”

It's not clear whether other students or faculty have been notified or were tested for the coronavirus. KERA reached out to Collin College for comment. A spokesperson said the college would offer no additional comment on the student's death other than Matkin’s words.

Matkin’s Full Transcript Of Comments On Martinez's Death:

“Rogelio Martinez was a student in our HVAC program with the technical campus. By all counts, everyone that met him in the short time he was with us counted him as an inspiring individual with some individuals talking about getting him through the program so he could come back and teach.

He was a very positive go-getter of an individual. After three decades in the HVAC industry, he returned to college to sharpen his skills. And they call it upskilling – where you go to increased skills for a better opportunity. He came back to sharpen his skills and broaden his knowledge with an HVAC field.

In early September, he tested positive for COVID-19. He then contracted pneumonia. The illness was too much for his body to fight. On Oct. 14, we were notified by his widow that he had passed away Oct. 2 due to a heart attack.

Though he was only in our program for a short time, again his enthusiasm, his experience, and his great attitude made a lasting impression. His widow contacted us and she had a singular request. He was extraordinarily proud to be here at Collin and she wanted to know if she could come by and pick up his college ID, which of course we were happy to grant.

So please keep those families … in your thoughts and prayers. Losing anybody is too many and we’ve been very blessed by some amazing students who come to us and we hate to lose them under any circumstance.”

The audio in this story is the full recording of President Neil Matkin's remarks about Martinez.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.