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A Year Of Loss: COVID-19 Has Killed More Than 4,500 Chicagoans. For These Families, Life Will Never Be The Same

It's been one year since coronavirus was found in Chicago. The virus killed more than 4,500 people in that time. Block Club tells the story of 27 victims whose loss has forever changed our city.


See How Coronavirus Has Impacted Every Corner Of Chicago

Every community in the city has been touched by loss from COVID-19, from Rogers Park to Roseland and Austin to South Shore.


‘That’s What I’ll Miss The Most’: Watch Families Of COVID Victims Remember Lost Loved Ones

Families of coronavirus victims explain, in their own words, why their loved one was special in these videos.


Coronavirus ‘Long-Haulers’ Remain Sick Months After The Virus, But They Feel Hopeful As Vaccinations Continue

Chicago's long-haulers have lost their health, their time, their memories to COVID-19. But as the world reopens, they have hope of recovering and reconnecting with the people they love.


Washington Heights’ Larry And Jacki Griffin Were Soul Mates Who Built A Family Before His Death From Coronavirus

They were married for 25 years, raising their children together and traveling. "I never worried about if he loved me," she said. "He loved me from the beginning to the end."

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood, Morgan Park

A Lakeview Matriarch, Immigrant Tried To Give Back After Building A Life In Chicago. Her Family Is Continuing That Legacy

Rafaela Castillo, 89, died from coronavirus. During a long life in Chicago, she was known for helping her neighbors in whatever way she could and holding her family together.

Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Northalsted

Pilsen Dad Lost To Coronavirus Helped ‘Whoever Needed A Hand’ — And Held A Special Place In His Heart For His Granddaughter

Ciro Castro, who died Dec. 30, was a kind, generous man with deep affection for his family, his daughter said.

Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Logan Square Family Loses Loving Father, Proud Advocate Of Darwin School To COVID At Just 51: ‘We Were Never Able To Say Our Goodbyes’

Jose Miguel Vazquez died at the end of March. His family wonders if he would've survived had he caught the virus later on in the pandemic. "Even at the hospitals, they weren't sure what to do," his wife said.

Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Ukrainian Village Museum Director, Lost To Pandemic, Was A Fierce Advocate For Fellow Ukrainians In Chicago

Jaroslaw "Jerry" Hankewych emigrated from Ukraine to Chicago in the wake of World War II. Over the next several decades, he'd be a resource for other immigrants in Ukrainian Village until his death from coronavirus at 77.

Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Lakeview Godmother Was A World Traveler, Style Icon And Best Friend To Many — Until COVID Took Her Away

Henley, 70, who always had a fresh hairstyle and was adored by her goddaughter and friends, died this fall from coronavirus. "She had the biggest heart and was always smiling, so happy to see you."

Lincoln Park, Old Town

Englewood Mom Protected Her Daughters All Their Lives — But They Couldn’t Be With Her As She Died From COVID-19

Lillie Merrill, 98, was a fiercely independent Englewood mother with a heart as big as her wardrobe. After suffering from Alzheimer's disease, she contracted coronavirus and died in April.

Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

Mt. Greenwood Man Found Peace, Religion And Family In West Ridge. After His Death, Area’s Muslim Community Helps Those He Loved Most

Muhammad Saleh Abdur-Rahman, 60, grew up an outsider in Mt. Greenwood. He found purpose in West Ridge, whose Muslim community helped his family after his untimely death.

Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

At Just 42, South Shore Man Died In Jail Before His Trial: ‘He Deserved A Chance To Redeem Himself,’ His Wife Says

Nickolas Lee was never convicted of the crime with which he was charged. He died in jail from COVID-19. Now, his and his wife's dreams for the future are gone — but she's fighting for others locked up during the pandemic.

Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

At 101, Glamorous Norwood Park Grandma Was Young At Heart, The Life Of The Party — And Never Without Her Red Lipstick

Margie Rodriguez, 101 when she died from coronavirus, loved to make everyone laugh, was always up for an adventure and loved singing with her friends and family.

Edgebrook, Edison Park, Sauganash

West Side Educator And Activist Lost To Pandemic Was The ‘Keeper Of Our Sacred Family Stories’

Rhoda Jean Hatch, 73, was the oldest of eight siblings and was first in her family to go to college. She became an educator and her family's historian, helping find an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.

Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Englewood Dad, Lost To COVID At 55, Always Had Jokes, Drew A Crowd Of Admirers When He Danced: ‘It Happened So Fast’

"I miss his jokes and his laugh. I miss it every day," Jones' older sister said.

Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

Children Of Brilliant Baker And Strong-Willed Lincoln Park Mom Mourn Her Loss, Planning Post-Pandemic Party To Celebrate Her Life

Surayya Fahim's children remembered her as an "alpha female" who was devoted to helping her loved ones live healthier and better lives.

Lincoln Park, Old Town

Legendary Cubs Vendor Who Died From Coronavirus Worked Wrigley For Decades, ‘Was A Fixture Of The Ballpark’

Bill Griffin, 88, was the longest-serving vendor in Wrigley Field history. The people he met at Cubs games became like family, helping "Griff" in old age.

Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Beloved South Shore Uncle Was A Trivia And Barbecue Wiz With Friends In Every City: ‘Nobody Knew Anything’ About COVID When He Got It

Larry Arnold, 70, well known for his outgoing nature and infectious laugh, "had a buddy in every part of the country," his family members said.

Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Landon Cox Was Famous For Winning As A Basketball Coach — But He Also Worked To Help His Players Succeed Off The Court

Landon Cox, 81, was a legendary basketball coach on the South Side. But to his daughter, he was a hero. He died from COVID-19 in May.

Beverly, Mt. Greenwood, Morgan Park
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