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Honoring individuals lost to COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on into the fall, we remember the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have passed away from the virus. Here are a few of their stories.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As we monitor the president's health and we hope for a full and quick recovery, we also remember the thousands of men and women across this country who passed away from the virus.

    Here are a few of them.

    Larry Kelly taught American government to high school seniors in Miami for 32 years. When they turned 18, he made sure every student registered to vote. A lover of books and learning, Larry never wanted to leave the classroom. He taught summer school and led field trips to the courthouse and Washington, D.C.

    When he eventually retired, the 78-year-old worked at the local library. Quiet, but witty and hilarious to those who knew him best, Larry loved cheering on his home teams in New Orleans with his daughters and granddaughters.

    Nursing was more than a job to 62-year-old Patricia Edwards. She wore old-fashioned scrubs to the intensive care unit in Greenville, South Carolina where she worked. Nurse Pat was one of the first in line to treat COVID patients.

    She was fearless, even when battling cancer herself, and made those around her feel safe, her daughter said. Thanksgiving was Pat's favorite holiday. She spent the day in the kitchen, blasting old school R&B with her five children and 13 grandchildren.

    John E. Thrower Jr. had a megawatt smile. A bus driver in Richmond, Virginia, John was a dedicated worker who loved talking to his passengers, his wife said. Always jolly and busy, John also had a passion for cooking, a skill he learned from his mom. He was spiritual, too, a loving father and grandfather who enjoyed traveling with his wife. John was 49 years old.

    A teacher and school counselor, Dr. Betty Jean McBride's favorite piece of advice to her students was, bloom wherever you are planted. Heartfelt and giving, the 71-year-old spent her time helping others. She founded a local group called 100 Women on the Move to give back to women in need.

    She met her husband on the board of the Columbus, Georgia, YMCA, and raised his son as her own.

    Growing up in El Salvador, Jose Mardoqueo Reyes was fascinated by radio. He went on to become a radio show host in Washington, D.C., where he combined his love for broadcast and sports. Jose often announced local games for his Spanish-speaking listeners.

    His daughter described Jose's personality as infectious, straightforward and funny. A beloved husband, father to five, and grandfather, Jose was 54 years old.

    We want to thank the family members who share the wonderful stories with us. Our hearts go out to you and all those who've lost loved ones in this pandemic.

    And, of course, our wishes are with the president and the first lady for their health as well.

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