Remembering some of the 1 million Americans lost to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Judy Woodruff:

Margie was 71 years old.

Freddie Perez de Tagle loved to sing, whether in his church choir or just answering the phone, his son told us. He moved from the Philippines to Toledo, Ohio in his twenties to be with his wife, Priscilla. A devoted grandfather, Freddie loved the outdoors and camping.

He has also had a lifelong interest in fashion. His family said he takes pride in choosing what to wear every day. Freddie was 67 years old.

Melvin Greennagel lived a long and full life of music, service and family. Raised on a farm in Metamora, Illinois, he played tuba in the United States Army Band during World War II and was the last living member of the band that marched under the Arch of Triumph on Victory in Europe Day in 1945.

After the war, Melvin married and settled in Arlington, Virginia, where he continued to play music for the U.S. Army and raise a family. His granddaughter told us he was a calming presence who embraced quiet times and, in retirement, loved tending to his grandchildren, basset hounds and many plants. He died at 103 years old.

Mary Beth Nolan’s parenting and teaching philosophy was to let children learn by making their own choices and mistakes, her family said. She applied it when homeschooling her three children and then as an elementary science teacher in Houston, Texas. Mary Beth was also a lifelong learner, her sister said.

At 50, she obtained a master’s degree in educational technology. And she was instrumental in her school’s transition to virtual learning during the pandemic. She lived with chronic pain from rheumatoid arthritis but never complained, her daughter said. Mary Beth died two weeks before her 60th birthday.

Seventy-seven-year-old Roselyn Knox was the backbone of her family and a trusted confidante to many others, her son said. Born in Ohio, Roselyn grew up in Colorado and played violin in the All State Orchestra. She moved with her husband, Sylvester, to military bases he was stationed on across the country and around the world. Eventually, they settled in Tacoma, Washington with their two children.

Faith was central to Roselyn’s life. She volunteered at her church for decades and founded a Christian nonprofit focused on connecting women to the gospel online.

Yvonne Brown loved poetry and believed in the power of literature, her friends and family told us. She shared these passions in her classroom as an English teacher at Parkland High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Yvonne also volunteered for the Toni Morrison Society for 15 years and wrote a memoir about growing up in a troubled Iranian-American family. She lived life out loud, a friend told us, and wanted her daughters, Samira and Layla, to be confident and comfortable in any setting. She was 44 years old.

Salvador Ortiz, aka Cano, was warm, funny and selfless, his daughters told us. Cano grew up in a large family in Puerto Rico, then moved to Lorain, Ohio with his wife, Julie. He worked at the water utility in the town of Lorain for three decades and also did odd jobs as a handyman to support his family, his daughters said.

Cano loved the Cleveland Browns and bonded with his seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was 68 years old.

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