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Remembering some of those lost to COVID-19

As another week of the devastating pandemic comes to an end we take a moment to honor some of those we've lost to COVID-19.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As another week of this devastating pandemic comes to an end, we take a moment now to honor some of those we have lost to COVID-19.

    Guadalupe Perez had an entrepreneurial spirit and a knack for cooking. He spoke little English when he left Mexico for the United States in the '90s. He started a business selling raspados, or frozen ice. Every summer, the 62-year-old greeted long lines of customers in Chicago eager to try his bold flavors.

    Generous and thoughtful, Guadalupe always shared whatever he had with others, his son said. He offered food or jobs to friends in need. And for his five children, he worked tirelessly and spared no expense to help them succeed.

    Han Sim Hildebrand to laugh and be silly, especially with her children and grandkids. Her son said she made it easy for people around her to relax. A hard worker with a green thumb, Han turned her home vegetable garden into a successful business and was a founding vendor at the Columbia Farmers Market in Missouri.

    She was also a leader in her church, and, even at 71, woke up at 5:30 every day for the morning service.

    Seventy-seven-year-old Paul J. Foley Jr. felt a responsibility to give back to his country, his daughter said. He was a lieutenant in the Army and served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Most recently, he worked as an elections judge in Chicago.

    Family was the center of Paul's life. He taught his kids the importance of service, and it was important to him that everyone's voice was heard. His loved ones knew him as a risk-taker who loved to be silly and greeted everyone with a smile.

    Pharmacist Ed McFall spent more than a half-century fighting to bring better health care to small towns like the one he grew up in. His work took him to Oklahoma City, where he served on the board of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

    A former governor, David Walters, said he was struck by Ed's knowledge and — quote — "compassion for rural health." His career also brought him to his wife. The couple reconnected at a pharmacy convention and were engaged within a week. The 76-year-old father and grandfather spent his free time fishing, traveling in his R.V., and driving his boat on the lake.

    Sixty-four-year-old Keith Jacobs had an artistic eye, his son said. Keith was a photographer who loved capturing human emotions, and would tell everyone to have a picture-perfect day. Funny, witty, and kind, he was dedicated to his family above all else.

    Known by his loved ones as a simple man, Keith would often tell his daughter: "Make sure you're a good person first. Then catch your dreams."

    And, as always, we want to thank family members for sharing these stories. Our hearts go out to you, as they do to all those who've lost loved ones in this pandemic.

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