Tri-State residents who died of COVID-19 in March-April 2020

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, April 30, 2020
coronavirus deaths new york new jersey connecticut

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Remembering some of the thousands who we lost to coronavirus during the months of March and April in 2020.

April 2020

Ben Schaeffer, MTA conductor

An MTA conductor who was in desperate need of plasma after contracting COVID-19 has died. Union officials put out a desperate call for help earlier this month to get plasma donations for Ben Schaeffer while he was hospitalized in Brooklyn. The appeal from TWU Local 100 encouraged fellow union members and friends to donate plasma. Members of other unions also stepped up to help, but it was too late.

Richard Seaberry, FDNY EMT

The FDNY is mourning the loss of a fellow EMT from COVID-19. Emergency Medical Technician Richard Seaberry, 63, was a 30-year veteran of EMS, and a responder to the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center. He was most recently assigned to Station 53 at Fort Totten in Queens.

Harry Labissiere, NYC DOT fuel truck operator

The New York City Department of Transportation announced the loss of Harry Labissiere, a fuel truck operator in DOT's Roadway Repair and Maintenance (RRM) division. Labissiere passed on April 21, 2020. He's the fifth employee in the department to die of COVID-19.

Fredrick Thomas aka rapper Fred the Godson

Fred the Godson, a figure in New York hip-hop for more than a decade, died on Thursday in the Bronx. He was 41. His death at Montefiore Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized since early April, was confirmed by his publicist, Matthew Conaway.

Iris Love, archaeologist and champion dog breeder

The New York Times described her as "Indiana Jones in a miniskirt." iris Love was a celebrity archaeologist turned champion dog breeder. Love bred a number of Westminster champions from her property in Vermont. She was also the longtime romantic partner of gossip columnist Liz Smith. Love was 86.

Jay-Natalie La Santa

The infant daughter of FDNY firefighter Jerel La Santa has died of coronavirus, according to the FDNY Hispanic Society. Jay-Natalie La Santa was 5 months old.

"My baby girl was so beautiful," her mother, Lindsey La Santa, said. The FDNY said La Santa was appointed to the title of firefighter less than a year ago, in November of 2019.

NYPD transportation officers Josephine Hill and Mohammad Ahsan

Complications of the coronavirus have claimed two additional members of the Transportation Bureau, both in the past 24 hours: Principal Administrative Associate Josephine Hill dedicated 33 years to the NYPD, the last 19 assigned to the Manhattan Tow Pound Unit.

Associate Traffic Enforcement Agent Mohammad Ahsan served 15 years with the police department, most recently assigned to the Bronx Traffic Enforcement Unit.

James Houlihan, MTA Station Appearance Maintainer

The Long Island Railroad lost its first employee due to the coronavirus, 19-year Station Appearance Maintainer James Houlihan.

Gloria Sosa, NYPD School Safety Agent

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the death of NYPD School Safety Agent Gloria Sosa due to COVID-19.

Yves Sajous, NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the death of NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent Yves Sajous due to COVID-19.

Jay-Natalie La Santa, infant daughter of a FDNY firefighter

hTe infant daughter of FDNY firefighter Jerel La Santa has died of coronavirus. Jay-Natalie La Santa was just 5 months old.

FDNY EMT Idris Bey

FDNY EMT Idris Bey, a 27 year veteran, has died of COVID-19, becoming the eighth active FDNY member to die.

The 60-year-old responded to the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center and responded to countless calls for help in Brooklyn before becoming an instructor at the FDNY EMS Bureau of training.

Valerie Fata, special education teacher in Queens

A teacher from Long Island who recently passed away from coronavirus taught in Queens for four decades.

The Floral Park, Long Island, resident retired but missed teaching so much that she went back to it. Fata was teaching students from home when she became ill.

Sharon Williams, NYPD School Safety Agent

Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the death of School Safety Agent Sharon Williams who died due to the coronavirus. She served for the NYPD for nearly 4 years.

Philip Kahn, 100 year old WW II veteran dies who lost twin brother to 1918 pandemic

He was the oldest living veteran in Nassau County, New York, according to his family, and had been fearful of another pandemic happening in his lifetime, his grandson, Warren Zysman, said. Philip and his twin brother, Samuel, were born on December 5, 1919. His brother died weeks later, his grandson said during the influenza pandemic.

Mohammed Chowdhury, Traffic Section Commander

The NYPD announced the death of Traffic Section Commander Mohammed Chowdhury from complications related to coronavirus. He was on the force for 30 years.

Fedi German, MTA subway car inspector

Ferdi German, an Army veteran and former college baseball player who worked as a subway car inspector in New York City, died on Thursday in a hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He was 41.

Jason Lewis, NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent

Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the death of NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent Jason Lewis, who died on Saturday, April 18, 2020, of complications from COVID-19.

Noach Dear, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Noach Dear has died following a battle with coronavirus, his family said in a statement.

Raymond Kenny, NJ Transit s

Raymond Kenny led rail operations for New Jesey Transit as Senior Vice President and General Manager since January 2019. He began his career with the Long Island Rail Road as a ticket clerk in 1970 before rising through the ranks to become acting vice president.

The New Jersey transit President and CEO released a statement saying, 'Ray's reputation and experience in the industry are unparalleled.'

Martin Douglas, Steel-pan musician

Martin Douglas was a leader in Brooklyn's steel band scene, according to the New York Times, mentoring generations of young players and keeping steel-pan music a vibrant part of New York's cultural life. He died a week after entering the hospital with complications from coronavirus. He was 71.

Alaa Khalil, TWU Local 100 car inspector

TWU Local 100 car inspector Alaa Khalil has died of the coronavirus. He was 60 year sold. The public transit union said Khali was a hard worker who did "the toughest job in the shop" and was a mentor to new workers at Pelham Barn. Khalil worked the midnight shift, power washing air conditioning units on the subway cars' undercarriages. He has been on the job since 2013 and worked at the Corona Barn before picking into Pelham.

Detective Alex Ruperto, Union City Police Department

Detective Alex Ruperto of the Union City Police Department passed away Thursday due to COVID-19.

Suzette Facey, NYPD School Safety Agent

The NYPD announced their department's 28th death due to COVID-19 as School Safety Agent Suzette Facey died early Friday morning. Facey served with the NYPD for more than 14 years, keeping thousands of Queens students safe.

Joseph Spinosa, Sands Point police sergeant

Sands Point police sergeant Joseph Spinosa, 52, lost his battle to coronavirus on Wednesday. The quiet Long Island community of Sands Point, with just 20 police officers, had never had a line of duty death until the passing of Spinosa. The sergeant from Hicksville would have commemorated 20 years with the department this September.

Kimarlee Nguyen, 33, Brooklyn teacher and writer who explored her Cambodian roots

The New York Times reported that "she taught English at Brooklyn Latin in New York, an academically rigorous public high school with a classical liberal arts curriculum and a diverse student body." Nguyen also wrote haunting short stories, sharing her family's experience in war-torn Cambodia and played rugby.

Robert Cardona, NYPD Detective

New York City Detective Robert A. Cardona has tragically died from complications related to COVID-19. Detective Cardona joined the NYPD in July 2001 and was currently assigned to the 13th Precinct Detective Squad. Detective Cardona was also a dedicated union delegate in the Detectives' Endowment Association.

NYPD loses two more heroes: Detective Robert Cardona and Traffic Enforcement Agent Carol Ryer

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the loss of two additional members of the NYPD family. Detective Robert Cardona and Traffic Enforcement Agent Carol Ryer lost their battles with COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Community mourns loss of two Bronx public school teachers: Chris Mondal and David Behrbom

Friends, family students and communities are mourning the loss of two teachers from the Bronx who died of COVID-19. Chris Mondal worked at PS 46 in the Bronx. He was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Mondal was just 30 years old when he died from complications from coronavirus.

For more than 15 years, PS 55 in the Bronx was Behrbom's second home where he was a PE teacher. But in mid March, the married father of two wasn't feeling well and was diagnosed with leukemia, but doctors told the 47-year-old it was treatable. He started chemotherapy in the hospital and then a few days later tested positive for COVID-19.

Donna Durkin, New York mom and grandmother

New York mom and grandmother Donna Durkin died from COVID-19 just two days after being diagnosed. She had underlying health conditions, including diabetes and had been hospitalized with kidney failure a few years ago. Her family has said that she was too weak to even Facetime with them once she went into the hospital. "She was so funny and it wasn't because she was trying to be funny. It was just because that was her," a family friend told Buzzfeed News.

Daniel Francis, former Newark PD Lieutenant

Lieutenant Danny Francis worked for nearly 16 years for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. After retirement, he kept going as a civilian analyst for the Newark Police Department.

Denise Prince, NYPD Communications Technician

Police Communications Technician Denise Prince, who gave nearly 21 years to the NYPD and the people of New York City, passed away Tuesday night from complications related to COVID-19.

Iris Anaida Martinez Arroyo, Puerto Rican activist

Iris Anaida Martínez Arroyo was an icon in New Jersey's strong and proud Puerto Rican community. She was an educator, a cultural manager, and a community and political activist. She was from Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, but she called New Jersey her home.

Michael Burke, New Jersey Firefighter

Little Falls, New Jersey firefighter Michael Burke died Monday from complications with coronavirus, local officials announced. reports Burke is the second New Jersey firefighter to die.

John Conway, Princeton Mathematician

Princeton mathematician John Conway has died of the coronavirus. He was 82 years old. The British-born Conway spent the early part of his career at Cambridge before moving to Princeton University in the 1980s. He made contributions in various areas of mathematics but is best known for his invention of Conway's Game of Life, a cellular automaton in which simple rules give rise to surprisingly complex behaviors.

Eddy Germain, NJ DOT employee

Eddy Germain served New Jersey for more than 30 years at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. His last work was on the structural analysis needed for the federal waiver of the weight limits on the state's highways for truckers carrying COVID-19 relief supplies.

John Oles, Metro North employee

"We are profoundly saddened by the loss of John Oles," Metro-North Railroad President Cathy Rinaldi said in a statement, according to ABC. "John was a 28-year veteran of our agency. He was beloved by his colleagues and will be deeply missed. His dedication to public service during this difficult time will not be forgotten."

Lolita and Luis Torres, Queens mother and son

Lolita Torres, 73, and Luis Torres, 47, from Queens died within 24 hours of each other. By the time Lloyd Torres woke up on April 7, he received the call that his mother had passed. Less than 24 hours later came the second call about his brother.

Daniel Francis, Newark Police Intelligence Analyst

A member of the Newark Police Department has passed away due to complications of coronavirus. Officials announced the death of Daniel Francis, 51, who was a criminal intelligence analyst in the Major Crimes Division.

Irving Cruz, NYPD Supervising Police Communications Technician

Supervising Police Communications Technician Irving Cruz passed away Monday evening from COVID-19, the NYPD announced. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and an 18-year member of the NYPD family.

3 NYPD Members

Three more members of the NYPD have died due to complications from coronavirus: New York City Detectives Raymod Abear and Jeffrey Scalf and Auxiliary Captain Mohamed Rahaman.

Stanley Chera Trump longtime friend

New York real estate mogul Stanley Chera has died after battling the coronavirus. Sources familiar with the matter tell ABC Chera, a longtime friend of President Trump's, died at a New York Hospital where he was battling the illness. The President has referenced Chera not by name for the last few weeks as a close friend of his whom was battling the disease.

Lila Fenwick, First black woman to graduate Harvard Law School

"I knew I was going to be a lawyer when I was a little girl," she told the Harvard Law Bulletin in 2000. "It never occurred to me that there were going to be any obstacles. Lila Fenwick was the first black female graduate of Harvard Law and spent her career with the United Nations. She died on April 4 at her home in Manhattan, according to the NY Times. She was 87.

Wynn Handman, co-founder of Off Broadway's American Place Theatre

Deadline reports Wynn Handman, co-founder of American Place Theatre, the Off Broadway non-profit company that championed a young playwright named Sam Shepard and cast such actors as Dustin Hoffman, Rául Juliá, Faye Dunaway, John Leguizamo and Robert de Niro early in their careers, died of complications from the coronavirus Saturday, April 11, at his home in New York. He was 97.

William Hayes, NYPD traffic enforcement officer

Traffic enforcement agent William Hayes became the 20th NYPD member to die. He served the Brooklyn North Traffic for nearly 31 years. He was also a U.S. Army Veteran.

Gregory Hodge, FDNY EMT

Gregory Hodge, 59, was a 24-year veteran of the fire department who worked on rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.

AlTerek Patterson, Bedminster Township Police Department

AlTerek Patterson, 38, was a member of the Bedminster force since 2006 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2014.

Francesco Scorpo, Patterson, NJ police officer

34-year-old Francesco Scorpo leaves behind a wife of six years, Kristina, and two sons, 4-year-old Francisco Jr. and 6-month-old Santino. Officer Scorpo joined the Paterson police force on July 20, 2015, serving in both the Patrol and Traffic Divisions.

Anthony Causi, New York Post sports photographer

The New York Post announced Sunday that longtime sports photographer Anthony Causi died of the coronavirus. Causi was 48, and a fixture in the New York sports world. He spent more than 25 years at the New York Post. If there was a big sporting event - or any sporting event in New York, he was there. It is his kindness that the sports world will never forget. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

AlTerek Patterson, Bedminster police sergeant

Sgt. AlTerek Patterson, 38, was a member of the Bedminster force since 2006 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2014. "Sergeant Patterson always had a smile on his face and touched the lives of so many residents at their time of need," the department wrote on Facebook.

Francesco Scorpo, Paterson police officer

Officer Francesco Scorpo, 34, joined the Paterson police force on July 20, 2015, serving in both the Patrol and Traffic Divisions. He leaves behind a wife of six years, Kristina, and two sons, 4-year-old Francisco Jr. and 6-month-old Santino.

William Sullivan, Yonkers detective

A 25-year member of the force, Yonkers Detective William Sullivan was known as a devoted family man who leaves behind his wife Eileen, a daughter Jacqueline and his son Will, who's also in the police department.

Ali Guillermo, Patchogue

Ali Guillermo came to the United States from the Philippines in 2004 to provide a better life for his family. The father of three children began working as a nurse at Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue. A few weeks ago the 44-year-old fell ill with a high fever and dry cough. He was admitted to the same ICU where he had worked to save patients. He was put on a ventilator and died April 7.

Det. Jack Polimeni, SSA Joseph Donofrio and Officer Eric Murray, all NYPD

Det. Jack Polimeni, who was with the force since 1997, because the second NYPD detective to die of coronavirus. Joseph Donofrio was a school safety agent assigned to the 113th Pct. in Queens. Officer Eric Murray was a member of the NYPD for nearly 17 years, first as a traffic enforcement agent.

Sam McGhee, former Mayor of Hillside, NJ

Sam McGhee, 79, was the first African-American elected to serve as Mayor of Hillside in 1988.

Mary Ellen Porter, Staten Island

Mary Ellen Porter, 65, was a nurse at Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island. "She was a dedicated nursing professional in our hospital for many years and she made a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of her colleagues and patients during her time with RUMC," the hospital said.

Richard Austin, NYPD

Traffic Enforcement Agent Richard Austin served New Yorkers for nearly 35 years. He was 66 and lived on Staten Island.

Nick Milianta, Iona College

Nick Milianta was a member of Iona College's security force. His son, Peter, graduated from Iona in 2016 and is pursuing his medical degree at Penn State.

Richard E. Barber Sr., Former deputy executive director of the NAACP

Richard E. Barber Sr. was a senior deacon at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in New Jersey. He was also a former deputy executive director of the NAACP, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said, and participated in the student protests in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960.

Tony Greer, New York City

Good Morning America studio camera operator Tony Greer died of complications due to COVID-19. He worked out of the Times Square studio for 6 years.

Raymond Copeland, Queens

Raymond Copeland of Queens was the NYC Sanitation worker to lose his life to the virus.

Dr. Leo Dela Cruz, New Jersey

CarePoint Health physician Dr. Leo Dela Cruz died at Holy Name Hospital on April 8, 2020, spokesman Eric Bloom said.

Deidre Edwards, NYPD

City Custodial Assistant Deidre Edwards of our Facility Maintenance Section served with the NYPD family for nearly 15 years.

Joe Hansen, NJ Transit conductor

Joe Hansen, 62, died from complications related to COVID19. He worked for NJ Transit for more than 20 years.

His son, Brian, is an NJ Transit mechanic, said Gov. Phil Murphy.

Carolyn Martins-Reitz and Thomas Martins

Thomas Martins of Kearny, New Jersey, who suffered from Downs Syndrome, died on the eve of his 30th birthday, just a week after his mother Carolyn, 55, also passed away from COVID-19. She worked in the art department of the Archdiocese of Newark, along with her daughter, according to a GoFundMe page set-up by family members.

Prea Nankieshore, Queens

Prea Nankieshore , 34, was the mother of twin boys who worked the overnight shift at a Queens hospital. Nankieshore worked in the emergency department at Long Island Jewish Hospital Forest Hills helping to register patients.

"We lost a dedicated mother with a heart of gold," fiance Marcus Khan said. "We lost a sister. We lost a friend. I lost the love of my life."

Sandra Bookman interviews the fiance of a worker who died of COVID-19 about his grief and message for others

Steve Ravitz, New Jersey

Steve Ravitz, who ran several ShopRite grocery stores in South Jersey, died from the coronavirus after spending 13 days in the hospital, his son Jason posted on Facebook.

"One definitive lesson that everyone should take from the loss of Dad is that this virus is not the flu," Jason wrote. "It is far worse and if it grabs hold, it can ravage your body."

He was 73.

Janice Rodman, Brooklyn

Janice Rodman worked at a Manhattan bank during the week, but on the weekend she worked the front desk at the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA where she knew everyone's name.

"Janice's roots in the Bed-Stuy community made her a master connector of new to old employees," the YMCA wrote on their Facebook page. "Miss Janice is truly irreplaceable and we will miss her teasing, jokes and scolding alike."

She was 52.

Joseph Bazzarelli, Teterboro, NJ

Joseph Bazzarelli's family reported he died from COVID-19 on Monday on the Facebook page of the family's restaurant Bazzarelli.

Bazzarelli Restuarant is located just down the street from Teterboro Airport and often provides takeout orders for the rich and famous who fly into that airport on their private jets. The restaurant was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, but the family rebuilt the place and reopened two months later.

Ava Walker, NYPD

Police Communications Technician Ava Walker, 66, spent 20 years with the NYPD. "Our hearts are heavy as we vow to #neverforget Ava & all of our brave NYPD family members lost to the coronavirus," the NYPD tweeted

John Abruzzo, Huntington Hospital

John Abruzzo, a nurse at a Long Island hospital has died of the coronavirus, officials confirmed. He began working at Huntington Hospital in 2002.

"We at Huntington Hospital are devastated by the loss of our colleague John Abruzzo, RN, from COVID-19," the hospital said in a statement. "He was among the brave caregivers dedicated to their patients during this challenging time."

Father Gioacchino Basile, Priest in the Brooklyn Diocese

Father Gioacchino Basile, 60, who was to mark his 25th anniversary of his ordination later this year. Basile was a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, and had been ministering as pastor of Saint Gabriel Church in the East Elmhurst section of Queens.

Ramon Roman, NYPD

Auxiliary Police Officer Ramon Roman, who was assigned to the 72nd Precinct, died on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Roman became a member of the NYPD on March 29, 2010.

Councilman Michael Yun, Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun, 65, a long-time civic and business leader, died from coronavirus on April 6.

He was first elected to the city council in 2013. He was a recipient of more than 30 community service awards and citations and served the residents of Ward D.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer (Seong Hee Ahn), children and grandchildren.

Sandra Santos-Vizcaino,, Brooklyn elementary school teacher

Sandra Santos-Vizcaino, 54, who taught third grade at an elementary school in Brooklyn, is the first New York City school teacher reported to have died of COVID-19.

"This is a devastating tragedy," schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said Thursday. "Sandra was a beloved teacher at P.S. 9."

Francis "Frank" Boccabella, III, first TSA employee to die from COVID-19

Francis "Frank" Boccabella III, 39, joined the TSA in 2004, working as an explosive detection canine handler at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

He then worked as a compliance inspector and then an explosive detection canine handler at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport.

James Brown, principal of the Grover Cleveland Middle School

James Brown, 48, lived in Colonia with his wife Sherry and their three children, died of complications from the coronavirus, the family said.

In a statement, the Caldwell-West Caldwell Public School District said Brown "introduced a House System to foster team-building and school spirit, and he created an Advisory/Enrichment Program that allows students to develop networks of support and to explore their interests."

"He brought in many speakers from all walks of life to provide students with models of determination, grit, and commitment to helping those in need. Mr. Brown's unmatched dedication to community service inspired students, faculty, and parents to focus on compassion for our fellow citizens and to make a difference every day," read the statement. "We mourn the loss of a wonderful colleague who enriched our lives with his kindness, intelligence, and humor, we extend our deepest condolences to his family."

Frank Gabrin - thought to be the 1st ER physician to die

Dr. Frank Gabrin, a New Jersey emergency room doctor, "was committed to health care" and always wanted to be a doctor, his friend of 20 years, Debra Vasalech Lyons, told ABC News.

"He had survived a lot of things. Not only did he survive two bouts of cancer, he was part of emergency medicine during the AIDS epidemic," she said.

In Gabrin's emergency room, the coronavirus pandemic "went from manageable to unmanageable almost overnight," Lyons said.

"He said, 'Look, the gloves that I have a size medium, I'm an extra large. Every time I put them on, they break. I've had to use this week my mask for four shifts,'" she recalled. "The hand-washing stations, they were so busy. They were running out of soap."

When Gabrin fell ill with coronavirus symptoms, he self-quarantined at home, she said.

Lyon recalled Gabrin telling her: "I'm very grateful that I have it mild. Within a couple of weeks I'll be through this and I'll have the antibodies and be ready to go back to work."

Gabrin is survived by his husband.

Adam Schlesinger - Lead Singer of Fountains of Wayne

Emmy and Grammy-winning musician and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, known for his work with his band Fountains of Wayne and on the TV show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," died Wednesday after contracting the coronavirus, his attorney said.

Schlesinger died at a hospital in upstate New York, his longtime lawyer Josh Grier told The Associated Press. It is not clear where or how Schlesinger, a 51-year-old father of two, contracted the virus. He had been sedated and on a ventilator for several days.

Schlesinger was nominated for 10 Emmys for writing comical songs across several television shows, winning three. He was nominated for an Academy Award for writing the title song to the 1997 Tom Hanks-directed movie "That Thing You Do."

MaryBeth Papetti

MaryBeth Papetti, 65, who is survived by her husband, son and daughter-in-law, "devoted her life to her family and her work in the healthcare field," according to her obituary.

After becoming a registered nurse, Papetti, who died on March 24, became the director of nursing at several long-term care facilities in New Jersey,

"MaryBeth was known for going above and beyond in her career, not only because of her dedication to her patients, but also for being an inspirational role model to her colleagues," her obituary said.

"She especially found joy in planning family gatherings, in particular her annual family Christmas Eve party," and recently helping plan her son and daughter-in-law's wedding.

Papetti was also an aunt of an ABC News employee.

James Villecco

James Villecco, 55, was an auto mechanic with New York City's fire department, most recently working in the ambulance repair shop."Behind the thousands of calls our members respond to every day is a team of dedicated and skilled mechanics who ensure our ambulances are running 24/7," said Daniel Nigro, Commissioner of the FDNY. "James Villecco was one of those truly unsung heroes in our Department whose outstanding work provided medical care for the people of our city. The entire Department mourns his loss."Villecco, who died on March 29, lived in State Island and served six years in the Army, the FDNY said.

He is survived by his wife, Joy, and daughter, Jessica.

Bernard Waddell Sr.

Bernard Waddell, Sr. was a correctional police officer in Hudson County, New Jersey, who died after 28 years of service, according to the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association.

"He's going to be sorely missed," said Ron Edwards, director of the Hudson County Department of Corrections, according to "He was more than just an officer. He was a gentleman."

New Jersey's governor, Phil Murphy, called him a front-line hero.

Israel Tolentino, Jr., Passaic NJ firefighter

Israel Tolentino Jr. was a firefighter in Passaic, New Jersey, who came on the job in December 2018.

"He was liked immediately. A wonderful, wonderful person. And he fit right in to that tour and made it his home," his fire chief, Patrick Trentacost, told ABC News. "We are family... we are there for 24 hours. We sleep there. And we laugh together and we cry together."

Tolentino "was always happy to jump in" to do fire education at local schools, said Trentacost.

The chief said that what made it especially difficult was that they couldn't give him the full honors they normally would bestow on a fallen member.

"We did our best, but we had to keep our distance. We had to maintain our personnel in the vehicles," Trentacost said. "We have to set the example for safety. We have to set the example of social distance. And we did it. We gave as much respect and honor as we possibly could.

Certainly we couldn't go there and hug his wife Maria, who is a tremendous person. We couldn't hug his kids."

March 2020

Lorena Borjas, Queens

Lorena Borjas, a 59-yeaar-old transgender Latinx activist from Queens, died from complications due to Covid-19 at Coney Island Hospital,

Dezann Romain, Brooklyn school principal

The COVID-19 pandemic is now personal for the students and staff at Brooklyn's Democracy Academy, after New York City officials confirmed that principal Dezann Romain died due to complications of the corononavirus.

"This is painful for us," Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a statement. "I extend my deepest condolences to the Brooklyn Democracy Academy and the family of principal Romain."

Roniece Watson, NYPD

School Safety Agent Roniece Watson, assigned to the School Safety Division, died on Monday, March 30, 2020, of complications from Coronavirus. School Safety Agent Watson became a member of the NYPD on September 8, 2003.

James Goodrich

Dr. James Goodrich was a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and director of the division of pediatric neurosurgery at New York City's Montefiore Medical Center.

Goodrich, who died on March 30, specialized in children with complex neurological conditions and created an approach for separating twins who are fused at the brain and skull, according to the medical center, where he worked for three decades.

He earned acclaim in the medical world in 2016 for separating 13-month-old conjoined twins whose brains were connected.

Throughout his distinguished career, he became known as the world's leading expert on the lifesaving procedure.

Kim King-Smith

Kim King-Smith, who died on March 31, was an EKG technician working the night shift at the University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, President and CEO of the hospital.

"We lost a great one," Elnahal tweeted. "Kim King-Smith was a hero."

Maria Mercader

Maria Mercader, 54, was a cancer survivor and a CBS News journalist for three decades, joining the network in 1987.

"Even more than her talents as a journalist, we will miss her indomitable spirit," Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president and senior executive producer, said in a statement released by the network.

"Even when she was hospitalized - and she knew something was going on at CBS, she would call with counsel, encouragement, and would say 'you can do this,'" Zirinksy said. "I called Maria a 'warrior,' she was. Maria was a gift we cherished."

"The Maria we are privileged to call family and friend knew better than most the power of relationships, loyalty, faith, kindness, perseverance and a smile, even when a smile defied the darkness of the moment," added Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, CBS News' EVP of strategic professional development. "Her notable professional contributions are part of the CBS Archives, but it is her magnificent human spirit that touched so many of us, that will stay with us forever."

Floyd Cardoz

Chef Floyd Cardoz, who competed on "Top Chef," won "Top Chef Masters" and operated successful restaurants in both India and New York, was 59. He was a partner in Bombay Sweet Shop, O Pedro and The Bombay Canteen in India at the time of his death. The Indian-American partnered with famed restaurateur Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group to open Tabla in 1997. The Manhattan spot was praised by critics. It closed in 2010.

Capt. Douglas Linn Hickock, NJ National Guardsman and physician's assistant

Army Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, of the New Jersey National Guard, was a drilling guardsman in the medical command and a civilian physician assistant.

His daughter, Shandrea Hickok, says her favorite memories are the adventures her father took her and her brother on.

"He loved to travel and take us to parks, museums, battleships, military bases, movie theaters, beaches, and restaurants," Shandrea Hickok said in a statement. "He also loved to go hiking, including up in the mountains of Utah where I went to school or on the Appalachian Trail where he lived in Pennsylvania. He enjoyed learning about wilderness survival and attended many medical conferences that had outdoor trainings."

"I love how caring and devoted my dad was," she said. "He traveled a lot for work but would drive hours to visit my brother and I. When I graduated college last year in Utah, he flew out to Utah and got a rental truck to drive me back to the East Coast. We had great memories driving through the Rocky Mountains."

His sister, Mary Hickok Scott, called her brother "fearless" and said he "kept serving others, even at his own risk! He loved medicine & he fought for the best treatments for his patients. My brother loved serving his country."

Sabrina Jefferson, NYPD

School Safety Agent Sabrina Jefferson, assigned to Patrol Borough Queens South Safety died on Sunday, March 29, 2020 of complications from Coronavirus. School Safety Agent Jefferson became a member of the NYPD on February 9, 1994.

Gwendolyn King, NYPD

Cedric Dixon, NYPD

A veteran NYPD detective was the first uniformed member of the service to die from coronavirus.

Detective Cedric Dixon, 48, served the city for 23 years, according to the Detectives' Endowment Association.

"We are hurting, we are crying and we continue to fight," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

"I've spoke to many of his friends and coworkers since this morning. He was known as the person who would do anything to help you," Shea said. "He is going to be so sorely missed."

Ben Luderer, 30, New Jersey teacher and baseball coach, former star high school player

Ben Luderer was a teacher and varsity baseball coach with the Cliffside Park School District in Bergen County. Luderer was a member of the 2008 Don Bosco Prep baseball team that went 33-0 and went on to play at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Luderer was sick on Friday and went to the hospital, where he was put on oxygen and sent home with a Z-pack and other medicines. His family said he seemed to get be getting better but then passed away early Monday morning.

Janice Preschel

Janice Preschel, 60, of Teaneck, New Jersey, "was the founder of the Helping Hands Food Pantry that has fed countless families for more than a decade," tweeted New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

"She was active in her temple - Temple Emeth - and was a past president of the Teaneck Rotary," he wrote.

Michael Sorkin, reknowned architect

"Michael Sorkin, the renowned architect was a member of the Spitzer School of Architecture, and succumbed to the coronavirus on March 26th. He was possessed of an elegant mind and an expansive imagination, and the architectural community lost, in his passing, a true giant." - Statement from Vincent Boudreau, President CCNY

William Helmreich, professor and author of best-selling NY guidebook

"Willy -as everyone knew him - was an expansive writer and analyst, covering topics as varied as immigration, life inside yeshivas and the formation of stereotypes. He will, however, almost certainly be most fondly remembered for a joyful series of recent books, chronicling his efforts to walk all the streets of New York, and report on what he saw and heard. Professor Helmreich loved to talk. He was gregarious, optimistic, and unremittingly curious about the lives of those around him." - Statement from Vince Boudreau, President, CCNY

Sonny Aravena, New Windsor, NY

Sonny Aravena passed away on the birthday of his twin daughters. According to a GoFund Me page for the family, Sonny was a dedicated, loving husband, father, and friend. In addition to the twins, Sonny is survived by his wife and 3 other children.

Larry Edgeworth

Larry Edgeworth was a longtime NBC News employee.

Edgeworth, who died on March 19, most recently worked in an equipment room at NBC News' New York headquarters. He spent 25 years as an NBC News audio technician, traveling around the world with producers and correspondents, before working in an equipment room at the network's New York headquarters, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said.

"He was truly one of the nicest men I've ever had the pleasure of working with," wrote NBC News meteorologist Dylan Dreyer. "Through the coldest snowstorm, he always had a smile on his face. ... I'll miss this wonderfully kind man very much."

Edgeworth is survived by his wife and two sons.

Juan Sanabria, New York City

Juan Sanabria, 52, was among the city's first coronavirus victims. Sanabria was a doorman at a residential building in the Bronx.


Grieving the lost: Tri-State residents who have died

New York state

New Jersey


New York City

Long Island


Where are the testing centers

See how our communities are making a difference

Free educational resources for parents and children

How you can help victims of coronavirus


Share your coronavirus story with Eyewitness News

Stimulus check scams and other coronavirus hoaxes

Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus