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Remembering 5 lives lost to the coronavirus

As we do at the close of every week during this pandemic, we want to take a moment to honor a group of individuals who lost their lives to the coronavirus. Judy Woodruff shares their stories, from a 21-year-old baseball enthusiast to a 75-year-old pharmacist.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Now we want to take another moment to honor a group of individuals who have lost their lives to the coronavirus.

    Here are their stories.

    When the pandemic hit New York, 75-year-old pharmacist Philip To (ph) refused to abandon the community he served, even though he was considered at risk for contracting the virus. "This is the time they need me most," he said to his family.

    Philip left Hong Kong for America in 1967, and soon met his wife of 48 years, Eileen (ph). The couple raised a family in Staten Island. Philip was a proud and devoted father and grandfather. "He loved things that were beautiful," said his daughter Natalie (ph), pointing out his passion for poetry, art, and gardening.

    Katherine Blood Hoffman never lost her sense of adventure, her friend Sherrill (ph) said. At 100 years old, Katherine, or Kitty, was still planting pine trees and fishing with her son Norris. Kitty was affiliated with Florida State University for 88 years, first as a student at the women's college, and later as a chemistry professor and active alumnus.

    In the 1960s, she helped modernize the school by abolishing her own position, dean of women. She would have turned 106 this month.

    Floyd Bluntson was a no-nonsense, yet nurturing father to his six children, his daughter Latrina said, resourceful, reliable, and honest. Floyd served in the Navy, before working as an engineer at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where he was born and raised.

    He retired in 2010, after 35 years on the job. He loved to cook for his family and barbecue for the holidays. Floyd was 66.

    Cody Lyster's family said he had a huge heart, infectious laugh, and larger-than-life personality. The 21-year-old college junior was studying criminal justice at Colorado Mesa University, inspired by his father's career in law enforcement.

    Baseball was Cody's life from an early age, his mom Lea Ann said. He umpired games and helped coach his little sister Sierra's softball team. Cody and Sierra were best friends.

    Throughout her life, Mary Nestor Radziszewski of West Haven, Connecticut, had several different careers. All had one thing in common. Mary served as a nurse, a teacher and then a realtor, selling homes to many of her former students. "A name to know, a name to trust" was her slogan, and helping others came second nature.

    Above all else, Mary treasured her family, her late husband, Walter, and her three children. Mary was 83.

    And thank you so much to the families who shared these wonderful stories with us. As always, our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones in this pandemic.

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