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So many gone in a year of illness and isolation

by Eric Besson | March 21, 2021 at 10:08 a.m.

On March 24, 2020 -- 362 days ago -- covid-19 claimed two Arkansans, the first known victims in this state.

Since then, the virus has killed an average of 15 Arkansas residents a day, according to state officials. The total passed 5,500 Wednesday.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

Arkansas' death toll now roughly equals the population of Mena, the state's 60th-largest city.

It's more than triple the 1,595 Arkansans who died of drug overdoses in the past four years.

It tops the combined death counts for the Pearl Harbor bombing in World War II and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

To mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic in Arkansas, the newspaper sought to capture the enormous loss with a collage of faces on the front page and the list here of 550 victims, one for every 10 Arkansans who have died.

To fully depict the toll would require nine more newspaper pages of lists as long as this one.

Arkansas' covid-19 victims include teachers, doctors, executives, retirees, plant workers and nurses, as reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette over the past year. They worked in engineering, farming, construction, homemaking, mechanics, accounting, education and many other fields. They were young and old. They hailed from more than 240 cities and towns across the state.

The list printed here is a product of the newspaper's yearlong "Lives Remembered" series, about the lives and deaths of otherwise anonymous Arkansans claimed by covid-19.

The newspaper has collected 2,264 names to date, most from county coroner records obtained through repeated Arkansas Freedom of Information Act requests. A small number of names came from obituaries that disclosed covid-19 as the causes of death.

Most of the people described on this page are not identified by name. The "Lives Remembered" series, with few exceptions, has not named covid-19 victims without first obtaining consent from family members. Short descriptions of some of the people in this list are from obituaries, news accounts or interviews with family members.

Dozens of victims' stories are told at greater length online at arkansasonline.com/livesremembered.

Sherwood man, 59. A passion for the outdoors. First known covid-19 death in Arkansas. • Greers Ferry man, 90. Beloved church greeter. • Tanisha Cotton, 42, Little Rock • Fairfield Bay man, 75. • Alice Jett, 83, Little Rock • Virgil Sinkey, 62, North Little Rock • Frances Jansen, 94, Little Rock • Conway man, 25. • Patricia Jacuzzi, 72, Little Rock • Mary Blount, 107, Little Rock • Rodney Cottrell, 85, Little Rock and The Woodlands, Texas • Shelley York, 69, North Little Rock • Hope woman, 79. Her nursing career spanned 60 years. • Julia Christian, 82, Pine Bluff • Richard "Doughnut" Richardson, 60, Little Rock • Pine Bluff man, 48 • Clinton man, 79. • Monticello woman, 62. Avid league bowler. • Harry Drabelle, 78, Maumelle • Mae Lewellan, 86, North Little Rock • Beverly Reep, 63, Warren • Springdale man, 49 • Marion woman, 88 • Springdale woman, 59 • Marion woman, 81. Accomplished high school basketball player. • Lewisville man, 45 • Anita Gullett, 89, Little Rock • Kathryn Council, 87, Pine Bluff • Doris Bitner, 86, Maumelle • Taylor woman, 93. Tried to feed anyone who walked in the door. • Walnut Ridge man, 84 • Lorraine Hensley, 91, Maumelle • Charlie Alston, 82, White Hall • Jeanne Kelley, 90, White Hall • Fayetteville man, 94. Navy World War II veteran, USS MacKenzie. • Little Rock woman, 56 • Ash Flat woman, 98 • Hot Springs man, 79 • Betty Hill, 65, Junction City • Roy Davis, 76, Cummins Unit • El Dorado man, 75 • Maumelle woman, 81. Longtime registered nurse. • Mike Fox, 73, Little Rock • Fayetteville woman, 86 • Morris Davis, 70, Cummins Unit • Ash Flat man, 73 • Freddie Stuart, 77, Walnut Ridge • Opal Charlene Parmenter, 77, Walnut Ridge • Springdale man, 69 • Norman "Norm" Moyer, 66, Conway. United Methodist pastor. • Robert Burmingham, 54, Cummins Unit • Walnut Ridge man, 83 • Maumelle woman, 91 • El Dorado man, 49 • Connie Taylor, 84, Maumelle • Russellville man, 69 • White Hall woman, 96. "Loved nothing more than working for others." • White Hall woman, 81 • Walnut Ridge woman, 91 • Bentonville woman, 98 • El Dorado man, 82 • Jacksonville woman, 76 • Myra Nelson, 90, El Dorado • Springdale man, 63. "Kind and humble," Marshallese community member. • Stella Gentry, 90, Maumelle • Springdale man, 44 • Bentonville man, 71 • Rogers man, 62 • Pocahontas man, 43 • Joe Wigner, 73, El Dorado • Rogers man, 59 • Star City woman, 83 • Ash Flat man, 89 • Little Rock woman, 73 • Nina Kennedy, 92, Jacksonville • Bethel Heights woman, 39 • Jonesboro woman, 95. World War II riveter. • Larry Akins, 74, Cummins Unit • Pine Bluff woman, 26 • Springdale man, 58 • Lake Village man, 77 • Springdale woman, 54 • Berryville man, 70 • Jonesboro woman, 96. • William Crawford, 90, Little Rock • Dr. Robert "Ray" Hull, 78, Bentonville. Gov. Asa Hutchinson wrote: "Died the way he lived, caring for people physically and spiritually." • Rogers woman, 85 • Springdale man, 72 • El Dorado woman, 67 • Little Rock man, 56 • Elsie Ferreira, 103, Jacksonville • Calve Cooper, 82, White Hall • Springdale woman, 31 • Jacksonville woman, 82 • Eudora woman, 48. Loved her family "with her entire being." • Crossett woman, 78 • Springdale woman, 46 • Springdale woman, 31 • Rector woman, 91 • Morrilton man, 87 • Rogers man, 33 • Springdale man, 48 • Rogers man, 47 • Springdale woman, 85. Collected food, clothing for less fortunate. • Jonesboro man, 97 • Rogers man, 57 • Warren man, 62 • West Memphis woman, 96 • Rogers man, 32 • Jacksonville woman, 80. Enjoyed attending drag races. • Corning woman, 57 • Rector woman, 96 • Helena-West Helena man, 85 • Gentry woman, 54 • Hazel Floyd, 75, Little Rock • Bobby May, 76, Russellville • Springdale woman, 24 • Rector woman, 97 • Jacksonville woman, 106. Retired beautician. • Mable Neeley, 84, Cabot • Prescott woman, 44 • Dermott woman, 72 • Dumas man, 88 • Little Rock woman, 58 • Cherokee Village man, 75 • Hot Spring Village woman, 76 • Springdale man, 49 • Roy Junior (RJ) Blackburn, 66, Charleston. "The calm in any storm." • Lowell man, 40 • Dierks man, 52 • Magnolia woman, 92 • Prescott man, 77 • Lake Village man, 80. "True friend," mechanic and railroad repairman. • Malvern man, 70 • John Dillon, 79, Sherwood • Siloam Springs woman, 69 • Helena-West Helena woman, 45 • Marianna man, 61 • Danville woman, 88 • Mountain View man, 55. A real talent for making windmills. • Mack Giles Sr., 76, Alexander • Danville woman, 56 • Hot Springs man, 56 • Hot Springs Village woman, 79 • Van Buren woman, 67. Passion for cooking Lao traditional authentic cuisine. • Montrose woman, 77 • Albert DeMarco, 91, Ozark • Green Forest man, 55 • Springdale woman, 55 • Waldo man, 65 • Winchester man, 93 • Charles Sibley, 92, Helena-West Helena. Consummate entrepreneur. • Pine Bluff man, 83 • Dermott man, 76 • Irene Hawkins, 92, Danville • Conway woman, 97. Devoted mother and provider who loved fashion. • Springdale woman, 52 • Jacksonville man, 90 • Hot Springs woman, 81 • Bella Vista man, 84 • Carlisle man, 69 • Lowell woman, 73 • Prim man, 47. Hobbies included hunting and telling stories. • Michael Wells, 58, Ouachita River Correctional Unit • Joyah Flemister, 38, Pine Bluff • Little Rock woman, 76 • Lowell man, 88 • Prescott woman, 94 • Havana woman, 76 • Newport woman, 39 • Kingsland woman, 76 • Fort Smith woman, 89 • Bella Vista man, 65 • Malvern man, 82 • Dr. Herman Ginger, 78, Pine Bluff • De Queen man, 59. Enjoyed playing guitar, gardening and remodeling homes. • Pocahontas woman, 98 • Bentonville woman, 74 • Springdale man, 47 • Siloam Springs woman, 60 • Joshua Handley Jr., 41, Pine Bluff • Norphlet woman, 89. Mother of four and teacher who earned master's degree. • Mayflower man, 77 • Hamburg man, 86 • Malvern man, 69 • Farmington man, 87 • England man, 83 • Fayetteville woman, 77 • Clarence Crabtree, 67, Pine Bluff. Handy at assembling lawn mowers and two-cycle engines. • Walnut Ridge man, 51 • Gurdon man, 72 • Springdale man, 70 • Blytheville woman, 69 • Mt. Judea man, 84 • Pea Ridge man, 63 • Violet Lawson, 76, Jasper • Deer woman, 84. Enjoyed cracking walnuts, quilting and loved her grandchildren. • Fayetteville woman, 79 • Hot Springs man, 74 • Lowell man, 68 • Juan Palacios, 86, Siloam Springs • Jasper woman, 75 • Warren woman, 63 • Hamburg woman, 82 • Elkins woman, 65 • New Edinburg woman, 75 • Ellen Ford, 80, Fayetteville • Barling woman, 96 • Blytheville man, 77 • Jose Lopez, 33, Little Rock • Dr. Roy Lee, 84, Hasty. Respected doctor and talented musician. • Malvern man, 65 • Clint Watson II, 30, North Little Rock • Bruce Hutcheson, 63, Lowell • Star City man, 82 • Macolar Ratliff, 81, Holly Grove • Ashdown woman, 77 • Jasper man, 73 • Fayetteville woman, 87. Accomplished pianist with a passion for classical music. • Beebe woman, 78 • Mabelvale man, 57 • Ashdown man, 71 • Hot Springs man, 69 • Russellville woman, 42 • Dorothy Johnson, 75, Hamburg • Knoxville man, 78 • Jasper woman, 79 • Ester Simpkins, 94, Dumas • Wilmar man, 83 • Hot Springs woman, 90 • Little Rock man, 65 • Wrightsville man, 77 • Sheridan man, 75 • Kingsland woman, 49. Enjoyed attending church and listening to audio books. • Norman man, 87 • Cabot man, 89 • Oden man, 70 • John Louis Berry Sr., 68, Little Rock • Rison woman, 84 • Don Weeks, 83, Little Rock • Eudora man, 65 • Strong man, 87 • Winslow woman, 91 • Mena woman, 88. Loved horses, clogging and weekends at the lake. • Austin woman, 70 • Drasco woman, 86 • Mountain View woman, 91 • Rosie Holmes, 89, Pine Bluff • Harrison woman, 59 • Lepanto man, 91. Korean War veteran, carpenter and foreman. • Dorothy Henderson, 73, Little Rock • Lockesburg woman, 85 • Harrisburg man, 61 • Bryant man, 80 • West Fork woman, 83 • Trumann man, 76 • North Little Rock woman, 49 • Forrest City man, 39 • Monticello man, 77 • Lead Hill man, 85 • Dardanelle woman, 63 • Mountain View man, 76 • Mary Ruth "Sissy" House, 64, Cabot. Worked "one or two jobs her entire life" to provide for family. • Rison man, 86 • Mountain View man, 93 • Lavaca man, 72 • Monette woman, 101 • Jimmy Horn, 52, Eudora • Veronica "Ronnie" Mangold, 72, Gould • Springdale woman, 83 • Elizabeth Hendricks, 68, El Dorado • Garfield man, 87 • Mountain View man, 80 • Mabelvale woman, 58. Managed auto-repair shop, loved art. • Farmington woman, 93 • Little Rock man, 81 • North Little Rock woman, 84 • Linda Joyce Pledger, 77, Lonoke • West Memphis man, 90. Loved to ride and listen to music. • Fayetteville woman, 80 • Conway woman, 88 • Benton man, 64 • Sulphur Rock man, 56 • Huttig woman, 87 • Little Rock man, 50. Remembered for his "zest for life and always a smile." • Bella Vista man, 87 • Springdale woman, 101 • Helena-West Helena woman, 86 • Scotland man, 88 • Little Rock woman, 49 • Hindsville man, 95 • Siloam Springs man, 79 • Little Rock man, 36 • Berryville man, 79 • Stuttgart woman, 81 • Altheimer man, 70 • Rev. Robert Floyd Jr., 67, Little Rock • Barling woman, 89. Last survivor of 22 children. • Fort Smith woman, 93 • Cabot woman, 88 • Dumas man, 72 • Siloam Springs woman, 101 • Paris man, 70 • Huntsville woman, 62 • Elkins woman, 82 • Jody Jenkins, 57, Atkins • Greenwood woman, 67 • Richard "Ric" Stripling, 67, Gentry • Traskwood man, 67 • Alma man, 68 • Arno Tourel, 95, Little Rock • Decatur man, 77 • Colt man, 77 • DeValls Bluff man, 86 • Rogers woman, 57 • Jonesboro man, 67 • Berryville man, 80 • Margaret "Jeanne" Cook, 96, North Little Rock. Singer, golfer, nurse and artist who painted murals at her church. • Monette woman, 85 • Hope man, 59 • Mammoth Spring woman, 56 • Barbara Franke, 73, North Little Rock • Harrison woman, 63 • Malvern woman, 65 • Huntsville man, 66 • Sheridan man, 81 • Blytheville man, 40 • England woman, 81 • Coy man, 30. Active in church missions. • William Harper Jr., 71, Redfield • Traskwood man, 87 • Litokwa Tomeing, 80, Springdale • Batesville woman, 76 • Eureka Springs man, 79 • Benton woman, 73 • Donald Braswell, 77, Vilonia • Springdale man, 65 • Magnolia woman, 71 • Harrison woman, 68 • Centerton man, 91 • Mark Fields, 58, North Little Rock • Nashville woman, 55 • Pea Ridge man, 71 • White Hall man, 56 • Russellville woman, 75 • Rex Ellison, 55, Hoxie • DeWitt man, 94 • Bismarck woman, 89. "Great country cook" who worked in Kmart's jewelry department 25 years. • Malvern man, 66 • Lamar man, 79 • Batesville man, 74 • Little Rock man, 39 • Gillett woman, 88 • Rogers woman, 26 • Houston man, 73 • Pastor George Autrey Dudley, 88, Alexander • Gravette man, 87 • Rogers man, 52 • Lonoke woman, 86 • Marked Tree woman, 92. Wonderful mother, "best in the world." • Tyonza man, 73 • Pea Ridge man, 76 • Springdale man, 54 • Jimmy Hynum, 53, Brinkley • Little Rock man, 67 • Kimberly Flanery, 55, Paragould • Decatur man, 69 • Crossett woman, 74 • Gentry woman, 100 • Springdale man, 89 • Julius Phillips, 65, Magnolia • Norman man, 91 • Little Rock man, 58 • Bauxite woman, 68 • James Modisette, 88, Fayetteville. Quotable former accounting department chairman at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. • Paragould man, 75 • Glenwood man, 82 • Benton woman, 51 • Delight woman, 68 • Sherwood woman, 48 • Gentry woman, 84 • Carlisle man, 100 • Fort Smith man, 44 • Decenda Terry, 70, El Dorado • Brinkley woman, 79 • Harrisburg woman, 83 • George Yarbrough, 74, Conway • Perryville man, 88 • Trumann woman, 55 • Dardanelle man, 57 • Barling woman, 83 • Western Grove man, 70. School bus driver who enjoyed fishing and camping. • West Fork man, 73 • Carlisle man, 59 • Walter Thayer, 92, Little Rock • Huntsville woman, 47 • Peggy Simpson, 73, Conway • Little Rock man, 66 • Mena woman, 88 • El Dorado woman, 79 • Malvern woman, 92 • Heber Springs man, 76 • Harrison woman, 59. Ordained minister who liked to ride a Harley and see sights. • Decatur man, 88 • Arkadelphia woman, 64 • Hazen woman, 96 • Fordyce man, 66 • De Queen woman, 69 • Pangburn man, 68 • Ward man, 65 • Fayetteville woman, 105 • Humnoke man, 73 • Hampton man, 63 • Linda Mays, 68, North Little Rock • Alexander man, 50. Pastor who served tens of thousands of meals during the pandemic. • Winslow woman, 68 • Cave City man, 84 • McRae man, 76 • Fairfield Bay man, 93 • Billie Thayer, 91, Little Rock • Little Rock woman, 78 • Springdale man, 30 • Bee Branch woman, 73 • North Little Rock man, 46 • Camden woman, 67. Longtime teacher who rescued animals and loved to solve puzzles. • Sheridan woman, 74 • Charleston woman, 80 • Sgt. J.L. "Buck" Dancy, 62, Sherwood • Alma man, 66 • Benton woman, 49 • Royal woman, 87 • Charles "Dickie" Richard Kennemore, 78, Osceola. Longtime Osceola mayor who helped lure Big River Steel plant. • Dumas woman, 55 • Clarendon man, 84 • Hamburg man, 59 • Hot Springs man, 75 • Malvern man, 48 • Pencil Bluff woman, 83 • Newport man, 64 • Geraldine Buckingham, 84, Pine Bluff • Winchester man, 51 • Tichnor woman, 69 • Altus man, 77 • Sparkman man, 66 • Hot Springs woman, 45 • Greenbrier woman, 88 • Quitman man, 87. Korean War veteran known as a prankster. • Oden woman, 69 • Star City man, 84 • Jamie Sheffield, 60, Benton • Humphrey woman, 82 • Scott man, 84 • Omega man, 86 • Harrison woman, 73 • Hot Springs man, 47 • Stuttgart woman, 85 • Brinkley man, 62 • Hazen man, 72 • Bauxite man, 66 • Winslow woman, 53. Teacher who loved nature, reading and her family. • Rogers woman, 66 • Amity woman, 81 • Newhope woman, 71 • Fordyce woman, 60 • Garfield woman, 79 • Damascus man, 82 • Hindsville man, 72 • Sandra Denton, 62, Little Rock • Bobbie Layton, 79, North Little Rock • Kingsland man, 83 • Jessieville woman, 82 • Earmer Grant, 70, Benton • West Fork man, 67 • Alicia Ugartechea, 67, Fountain Lake • Shirley woman, 72. Longtime teacher who was demanding, compassionate. • Mount Ida woman, 87 • Arnold Gibson, 62, Hot Springs Village • Glenwood woman, 56 • Oil Trough man, 49 • Elkins woman, 68 • Canehill woman, 95 • Gould woman, 56 • Leola man, 58 • Hatfield woman, 72 • Harvey man, 83 • Mangolia man, 60 • Quitman man, 49 • Vilonia man, 66. Inductee to Conway's Bowling Hall of Fame. • Lonsdale woman, 53 • Dr. Richard "Dick" Davis, 63, Louann. Family doctor who made house calls via jon boat or four-wheeler. • Palestine woman, 70 • Watson man, 76 • Hensley woman, 77 • Cabot woman, 65 • Springdale man, 26 • Farmington man, 94 • Bee Branch man, 81 • Danville man, 79 • Edward "Boe" Lewis Fontaine, 80, White Hall. Decorated Vietnam war veteran, two-term Jefferson County sheriff. • Hughes woman, 74 • Mountain Pine man, 89 • Conway woman, 82 • Berryville man, 73 • Texarkana man, 63 • Des Arc man, 74 • North Little Rock woman, 24 • Mineral Springs woman, 67 • Little Rock woman, 103 • Thelma Lee Bryant Kindle Wilson, 79, Little Rock • Mayflower woman, 79 • Teresa Sue Parker, 53, Van Buren. Loved her dog and going to the casino. • Little Italy man, 88 • Tumbling Shoals man, 71 • Kensett man, 67 • Mulberry man, 70 • Searcy woman, 83 • Pearcy woman, 73 • Lt. Hasain El-Amin, 41, Little Rock • Prairie Grove man, 56 • Lake Hamilton man, 85 • Little Rock woman, 33 • Cotton Plant woman, 79 • Fairfield Bay man, 70 • Hampton man, 77 • Witter man, 60 • McGehee man, 63 • Marvell woman, 62 • Jacksonville woman, 60. Her daughter died from covid-19 one week later. • DeValls Bluff man, 67 • Emerson man, 67 • Little Rock woman, 41. Raised her nephew and niece. • Monticello man, 26 • Perry woman, 51. Mother of triplets. • Poyen man, 61 • Rogers woman, 49 • Eureka Springs man, 74. Heart transplant recipient "who lived life to the fullest." • Springdale man, 49 • North Little Rock woman, 46 • Stamps woman, 72 • Holly Grove woman, 75 • Fayetteville woman, 101 • Perryville woman, 69 • Edgemont woman, 77 • Marshall man, 50 • Tucker woman, 55 • Hope man, 50 • Dumas man, 67 • Little Rock woman, 89. Retired apparel plant supervisor, talented cook and seamstress.

Contributors to today's installment of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's series "A Pandemic Strikes: One Year Later" include:

Reporters: Eric Besson, Ginny Monk, Kat Stromquist, John Moritz, Jeannie Roberts, Joe Flaherty, Francisca Jones, Bill Bowden, Rachel Herzog, Frank Lockwood, Graham Underwood, Andy Davis, Lara Farrar, William Sanders, Neal Earley, Janelle Jesson, Tony Holt, Bob Holt, Alex Golden and Eplunus Colvin.

Editor: Lisa Hammersly

Graphics: Carrie Hill

Design: Terry Austin

Copy editor: Sandra Tyler

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