The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has climbed past 95,000 this week. As the staggering numbers reverberate, we take a moment to remember five people killed by the disease, including an opera singer, a father of six and a 25-year-old budding therapist.
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As another week comes to a close, we want to honor just some of the remarkable people who have fallen victim to this devastating virus.
Arlene Saunders was as captivating as her soprano opera voice. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Arlene spent most of her career in Germany, performing with the Hamburg State Opera on stage and on television. She would go on to sing at the biggest opera house in the world, The Met.
Down-to-earth and elegant, Arlene moved to New York in 1986, where she married the man she loved to dance and sing with, Raymond Raskin. Arlene was 89 years old.
Abdelfattah Abdrabbo was often the first person at his Canton, Michigan, mosque arriving at 4:00 in the morning to lead the sunrise prayer. A Palestinian immigrant, Abe arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s with close to nothing.
Devoted, tireless and hardworking, he worked overtime and on holidays to build his import-export business, always with a smile on his face. His six children say he gave them the American dream. He was 65 years old.
Hailey Herrera was nurturing and compassionate, the first person her friends called for comfort and advice. The 25-year-old Bronx native was working to become a therapist. She helped care for people with mental illnesses and earned a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. Her mom says she was a ball of energy and a joy to be around.
Hailey loved throwing themed parties and making memories with her friends and family.
Ralph Pabon had an eye for fashion and a spirit of adventure. Both came through in the bridal gowns he designed in New York City. When his beloved mother remarried in 2014, Ralph walked her down the aisle. She wore the wedding dress he designed.
Gregarious and fun, Ralph loved that his most recent work as a flight attendant allowed him to explore the world. He was 51 years old.
Eighty-two-year-old Patrick Petit's family dubbed him the family philosopher, a nod to his ability to listen and offer advice. After serving in the Navy, he became a community organizer during the civil rights movement, taught sociology at a university in Minneapolis and raised three children.
His last words were a message to his grandkids: "Be happy, be kind and keep learning."