As of Friday, March 27, 23 people have died from coronavirus complications in Texas. The heartbreaking deaths have been shared on social media, and they include a father of six, a mother who worked at a Catholic church, a beloved band director, and a 97-year-old man who ran a funeral home. Not all the victims’ names have been released. Here’s a look at the names of the victims known so far, with tributes and photos as available.
Adolph Mendez, 44, died Thursday, March 26 from complications of COVID-19. He was being treated at the Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, News 4 San Antonio reported. He had a test the week before and had just gotten a positive diagnosis on Tuesday, two days before he died.
Mendez was married and had six children: three boys and three girls. He was a kindergarten teacher in New Braunfels at Oakwood Church.
His wife, Angela Mendez, told the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: “You hear that the people who die are older or have previous health conditions but he was neither and the virus took him down hard. “It can happen to anyone, it’s not just a story that happens to people across the world. It’s here and it’s real and it can kill anyone, just like it did my husband.”
She said he was healthy, took vitamins every day, and worked out and ate healthy foods.
Mike Westbrook, band director for Hardin-Jefferson High School, died from coronavirus complications. He led the Big Blue Machine for 13 years, according to a Hardin-Jefferson ISD tweet, and he was known “for his jolly demeanor and was always ready to tell a good joke.” Westbrook always advocated for students, was a devoted husband and father, and a talented musician.
The Symphony of Southeast Texas also shared a heartbreaking message about his death, writing: “It is with deep sorrow that we share that Mike Westbrook has passed away from the COVID-19 virus. A treasured member of the SOST trumpet section for over 30 years, he was a dedicated musician and teacher. Members of the orchestra will miss his smile and wonderful sound. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, Karen and his family. Gabriel just got a great duet partner!”
He will be greatly missed by family, students, and friends.
Patrick James, from Tarrant County, was hospitalized on March 12 and died four days later. He was living at the Texas Masonic Retirement Center. Positive test results did not come back until after his death. James was 77 and lived at the retirement center with his wife, NBC DFW reported. His wife, Jean James, was also showing symptoms of the virus.
His stepson, Greg Brandt, said that James thought he had the flue when he was congested and was later diagnosed with double pneumonia. “He was in the hospital for about four days before they gave him the test. He wasn’t in the priority testing because he hadn’t traveled abroad,” Brandt said.
Eddie F. Roberts
The first death in Texas was a man in Matagorda County in his late 90s. He was later identified as Eddie F. Roberts by the Houston Chronicle. Roberts, 97, was a funeral home director in Bay City.
Laurie Ramirez, 44, died from coronavirus complications in Bexar County. She was an employee of St. Luke’s Catholic Church. News 4 SA reported that her son has the virus. A GoFundMe for the family has been set up here.
The GoFundMe notes: “On March 24, our beloved friend Laurie Ramirez, 44, was called to heaven. We knew Laurie through our dear friend/colleague Mark. Laurie was a wonderful woman who had a sincere heart. We are saddened that Covid-19 was the reason of her early departure here on Earth. She will definitely be missed by many. Her son, Aaron who is only 25, continues to battle Covid-19. We have set up this fund to lighten up the financial burden of both funeral and healthcare costs. Any donation, continued support and prayers will definitely help! May God bless and continue to keep us safe.”
As of March 27, There Have Been 23 Deaths in Texas
As of March 27, there have been 23 deaths in Texas related to the coronavirus.
A man in Harris County, between the ages of 80 and 90, died. He had been in a nursing home.
In Amarillo, a woman in her 30s with underlying conditions who was a resident of Oldham County died.
In Bexar County, five deaths include a woman in her 80s at Brooke Army Medical Center, a woman in her 40s at University Hospital, and a woman in her 50s with underlying conditions.
In Collin County, a 64-year-old man passed away. He was in the hospital for an underlying condition.
In Dallas County there have been at least seven deaths. These include a Richardson man in his 60s, a man in his 80s, two men in their 60s, a woman in her 70s, a Garland woman in her 80s, and a Dallas woman in her 90s. A man in his 60s in Dallas County was found dead in his home and did not have any underlying conditions, Statesman reported.
In Midland, a man in his 60s died.
In Smith County, a 91-year-old man died.
In Travis County, a woman over 70 with underlying conditions died.
Many names of those who have died in Texas have not been released.