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Remembering 5 people who lost their lives to the pandemic

As the nation nears 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus, we honor five people who lost their lives due to COVID-19.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As the U.S. death toll to COVID-19 reached another milestone, we want to take a moment now to remember some of the individuals we have lost to the pandemic.

    George Whitmore loved nature and spending time outdoors. He first learned how to rock climb from roommates while at pharmacy school in San Francisco. George soon became an expert climber, and, in 1958, was part of the first ever team to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

    His wife said he was a humble and frank leader. He believed his conservation work for the California wilderness was his life's greatest achievement. George was 89 years old.

    Debra K. Ivory was always smiling and full of life. Famous for her homemade mac and cheese and desserts, she served people from across Oklahoma City at her barbecue restaurant. One of Debra's mottoes was "People over profit," and if someone couldn't afford a plate of food, she'd give it to them for free, her family said. She was 62 years old.

    Tiffany Shackelford was gregarious and made people instantly feel comfortable, her husband said. Raised in a Navy family, she lived all over the country, eventually settling in Alexandria, Virginia. She was a master networker and made connections and opportunities for people she encountered throughout her career in journalism, policy and digital media.

    She was civic-minded and, among many causes, advocated for robust statehouse and local reporting. A dedicated mother, Tiffany was 46 years old.

    Ninety-six-year-old William Good was a dedicated physician and worked as a family doctor in California for more than 60 years. William survived the Holocaust in Poland, thanks in part to people who risked their lives to feed and house him, his son said.

    Becoming a doctor was one way he tried to give back, and he met his wife, Pearl, while studying in Italy. Later in life, William organized annual trips around the world to spend time with his three children and six grandchildren.

    Alicia Ugartechea was a sweet and genuine person, her family said. Born in Mexico, she moved to Arkansas in her 20s. Alicia was a hard worker and gained a loyal clientele for the clothing alteration business she ran out of her home.

    She also worked as a custodian at a local elementary school for 20 years and befriended many staff, her daughter said. Alicia was dedicated to her family and helped raise her five grandchildren. She loved shopping, traveling and cooking for her family and friends. Alicia was 67 years old.

    Thank you so much to the family members who shared 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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