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Remembering 5 coronavirus victims

As we do every Friday during the pandemic, a tribute to the lives of five individuals killed by the coronavirus pandemic, which is worsening as we approach the holiday season.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The United States passed another heartbreaking milestone this week, with more than 250,000 lives lost now to COVID-19.

    As we do every Friday, we remember five of them now.

    Sixty-four-year-old Isabelle Papadimitriou of Dallas, Texas, had a warmness about her that drew people in, said her daughter. Isabelle's calling was to help people. She worked as a respiratory therapist for nearly 30 years, and had a way of making her patients feel seen, heard and loved.

    Family meant everything to Isabelle. She always showed up for her children, nephews and nieces, giving them her love and compassion.

    After two years with the Army, Jim Herber spent more than three decades as a postal worker in his hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It was a career perfectly suited to his lively personality and commitment to public service. Even in retirement, the 74-year-old sought to help others as a hospice volunteer and loved making new friends as a bartender.

    In his free time, Jim was an avid outdoorsman. He visited countless national parks and even motorcycled to Alaska. He passed down that love of nature to his four children and eight grandchildren.

    Emergency room doctor Juan Fitz practiced medicine for 34 years. He cared for his patients at his hospital in Lubbock, Texas, like they were family, said his daughter. A gregarious jokester, his daughter said her dad's laughter would fill a room and that he was the type of person who would give you the shirt off his back.

    Despite his hectic schedule, Juan, a father and grandfather, always managed to make time for his family, from softball games to ski trips. Juan was 67 years old.

    Seventy-year-old James McIntyre was a bus operator in Pensacola, Florida, for 39 years. His regular passengers knew him for his warmth and kindness. A man of faith, James hoped to one day preach before his own congregation. He often talked about God with his frequent riders, offering words of wisdom or support.

    It was on his bus where he first set eyes on his wife. The two were together for 36 years.

    Seventeen-year-old Elvia Ramirez, or Rose to friends, had big plans for life after high school, among them, college, an engagement to her longtime boyfriend, and a trip to Disneyland with her younger siblings.

    Curious and creative, Rose loved learning about her family's Native American history and culture in North Dakota, and spent lots of her free time drawing. She also had a silly side on full display on her social media, where she enlisted her brothers, sisters and friends in dances and lip syncs.

    We thank family members who shared these stories with us. Our hearts go out to you, as they do to all who've lost loved ones during this pandemic.

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