What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Honoring lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic

As we do each Friday during this pandemic, the NewsHour remembers five special people who lost their lives to COVID-19. Judy Woodruff shares their stories.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Again this week, we remember five extraordinary people who have lost their lives in this pandemic.

    Up every day by 5:00 in the morning, Don McKillop spent decades in the corporate world before retiring to pursue his true passion, art. He moved to Martha's Vineyard and opened Dragonfly Gallery. Many of his oil paintings were inspired by his love of sailing. The father of two planned many summer vacations sailing up and down the Northeastern coastline on his boat, called the Pendragon.

    When he and his wife retired to Florida, the 75-year-old became an avid golfer, even hitting two holes in one.

    Those who knew 63-year-old Wanda Key said her personality was like magic. Her sister spoke of her giggle and a smile that would light up a room. Called Peppa by all those who knew her, she was a nurse practitioner, serving her Nashville community for 30 years. A beloved daughter, sister and mother, Peppa often shared a favorite quote with her sons: "What we achieve inwardly will change outward reality."

    Andrew McBride II was just 14 when he was left to raise his siblings in Western Georgia. As an adult, he mentored young boys through basketball and Boy Scouts, determined to offer the guidance he lacked. He was stern, but endlessly loving and devoted to his community, his son said. He organized for the Lupus Foundation, a disease that killed his first wife. He served on the YMCA board and was an active member of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.

    At 67 years old, Andrew died exactly one month after his second wife, who also passed due to COVID-19.

    Sixty-six-year-old Beverly Savala-Weaver was resilient. Her daughter said nothing could slow her down. Known for being a take-charge nurse and a take-charge mom, Beverly began her nursing career in the Army, and continued in that field in the Dallas, Texas, area for nearly a half-century.

    Her husband of 25 years called her his best friend. A dedicated mother and grandmother, Beverly was the glue that held her family together.

    Robert Mata spent 20 years as a truck driver before his life was turned upside down. After suffering a stroke in his 40s, the Army veteran moved next door to his daughter in Austin, Texas, where he made a career out of the highlight of his day, walking his grandchildren to school.

    For the next 17 years, as a crossing guard, he made sure everyone got to elementary school safely. Family was everything to Robert, his daughter said. The 67-year-old never missed his grandkids' baseball games or cheerleading meets.

    And we want to thank family members who shared each one of those stories with us. Our hearts go out to you and to all those who have lost loved ones in this pandemic.

Listen to this Segment