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Remembering 5 amazing people lost to COVID-19

Every Friday, we take a moment to memorialize five lives lost to COVID-19 using the stories their loved ones shared with us.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As we do at the end of every week, we take a moment now to honor some of the extraordinary lives that have been lost to the pandemic.

    It didn't matter if he was singing rock, blues, or country. Dave Robinette was most in his element when he was on stage. The 67-year-old musician gravitated to the guitar early in life. He played gigs all over the Western U.S. and eventually got to perform one of his original songs at the Grand Ole Opry.

    Dave met the love of his life, Tymilynn, after one of his shows. She plans on seeing through a project that Dave was close to finishing when he died, a 12-track album of his original songs.

    Seventy-year-old Charlie Niyomkul was a charismatic presence wherever he went. And it was part of what made the restaurants he owned so popular, his daughter said. He left Thailand for the U.S. in the 1970s. Eventually, he and his wife launched restaurants of their own in Manhattan and Atlanta.

    Charlie's warmth made it easy to build a rapport with colleagues and guests, and many became friends for life. He cherished his time with family, and, above all, wanted to be a role model for his grandkids.

    Sherrell Gorman was always on the move, her friends and family said. She was the kind of person who would always bring joy into the room. Sherrell was well-known in her Louisiana community as the captain of the long-running all-woman Krewe of Isis, one of the many teams that organize Mardi Gras celebrations.

    But the 56-year-old was just as well-known for her generous spirit. One lifelong friend said that, whenever she met someone new, she never left a stranger.

    Those closest to Robb Malone described him as selfless and relentlessly positive. A sports standout during high school, Robb became a much-loved coach within his Minnesota youth sports community. It was because he put genuine care for the players above all else, his daughter said.

    He was quick to help neighbors and brought joy to so much of what he did, whether it was watching his own children excel or playing around with them during his spare time. Robb Malone was 54.

    Greg Kelley would never turn down the opportunity to help somebody, his daughter said. The lifelong Idahoan volunteered within the Mormon Church and as a ski patroller monitoring local trails. The 68-year-old also relished big tasks and big adventures.

    He summited the Grand Teton peak twice, and, with his family, built a cabin in the woods that they all could enjoy. They said he did what he could to pass on his love of adventure and the out of doors.

    And we so appreciate families for sharing these stories with us. Our hearts go out to you, as they do to everyone who's lost a loved one in this pandemic.

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