GREENSBORO — Hers is No. 2020908382 on the North Carolina registry of death certificates.
Thirty-three-year-old Tara Rochelle Dodd worked as a cosmetologist and waitress and once sang at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City.
She was also Deloris’s daughter, Aiyana and Jaelin’s mom, and Tiana’s friend.
The domestic violence survivor, who nursed Jaelin through emergency heart surgery at 11 months and took pride in the young woman Aiyana was becoming, was also passionate about her church, Kingdom of Our Lord Ministries Greensboro. And she loved her heels and oversized stylish eyelashes.
“She was a diva in her own right,” said Elder Dexter Dodd, her big brother.
His sister was also the youngest COVID-19 fatality in Guilford County 100 days after the first case was diagnosed here. Dodd died June 25.
According to death certificates through mid-July, Tara Rochelle Dodd, at 33, is currently believed to be the youngest person to die of COVID-1…
Since March 22, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has reported 5,167 cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 147 deaths in Guilford County.
Between March 23 and July 19, 172 Guilford County death certificates listed COVID-19 as a cause of death or contributing factor.
Many listed pre-existing conditions. Some had none known.
Not everyone on the list lived in the county. But all died here, including those who might have gotten sick while on a visit or were brought here from a nearby county for medical help.
The first Guilford County death linked to COVID-19 was Dorothy Pauline Mitchell Morton of Greensboro, a 92-year-old who had worked for Lorillard tobacco company for 34 years. She died on March 23, and like so many others, she had underlying health issues, including dementia and heart problems.
The oldest, High Point homemaker Martha Lassiter Meredith, died a month before her 99th birthday.
As the contagious respiratory illness continues to make national headlines, the number of deaths continue to grow.
The faces attached to those numbers include a 70-year-old former secretary for a Board of Education, a 48-year-old supervisor at a lumber company and a 66-year-old city of Greensboro maintenance worker, along with more familiar ones, like Frederick Brown Starr, who died early in the pandemic on April 1, at the age of 87. The former president and CEO of Thomasville Furniture Industries had most recently spearheaded an unsuccessful effort to bring a major league baseball team to the Triad.
And Ronald “Gene” Petty, a cousin to NASCAR great Richard Petty, who grew up in Guilford County. Ronald Petty died April 27. Just like his more famous cousin, he was drawn to the sport of racing. He joined Petty Enterprises in the 1950s and later Firestone Racing during most of the 1970s. He had his hands in other business ventures, such as founding A-1 Sandrock, a mining company, before circling back to racing with Gene Petty Motor Sports in the 1990s.
Bette Allred Weatherly was tested for COVID-19 on a Saturday in April. She died four days later.
Shoppers in the children’s clothing section at the Belk at Four Seasons Town Centre as recently as the late 1990s might remember Bette Weatherly, who died in late April. The 93-year-old great-grandmother worked there for years and in retirement became one of Guilford County’s first nursing home residents to die of COVID-19.
They — along with the husband and wife who died a week a part, the refugee who came to America for a better life and the World War II veteran who made it back home to start a family and a business — are forever linked to the worst pandemic in recent American history. As are the retired police officer, nurses and teachers.
Social media, the pages of obituaries and interviews uncover an eclectic mix of souls having lived their lives through joy and sorrow, while overcoming tragedies and giving others a reason to smile — like Jamestown High School graduate Judith Ann Kirkman, 78, who died April 13 and loved hats, particularly a winter beret.
And Betty Jean Manning Conyers, 74, “known for her collard greens, chitterlings, potato salad and Cheerwine/pineapple punch.” The South Carolina native and longtime certified nurse assistant, who died June 30, lived in High Point but never really retired.
The virus took 69-year-old Greensboro-born Pamela Reynolds Kennedy — a longtime “Lone Ranger” TV show fan who loved to dance — on July 7. Retired from Lucent Technologies after 31 years, she was “a tough and headstrong woman who selflessly took care of her family with love and hard work,” according to those who knew her.
James Dalton Amick’s survivors included wife, Helen, but also his beloved cat, Miss Kitty. He died April 11 and was remembered for having “a servant’s heart.”
Ethelyn and Jasper “Harry” Fitch, the couple that died within a week of each other in April, had made headlines in the past. Ethelyn, a former hospital clerk, was named after her mother Eula but went by her middle name. Harry worked at a power plant and was known for lighting up the house and yard with decorations at Christmas.
The two lived for many years off Cornwallis Drive, where late one night in 2015 a suspected drunken driver missed the curve and plowed into their home. According to reports at the time, the vehicle nearly severed a gas line to the right of where it landed, and to its left sat Ethelyn and Jasper’s bedroom — with them in it.
With Ethelyn disabled from polio, the two reportedly sat there waiting for help to arrive — and not knowing whether the whole house would come down around them.
“The good Lord had his arms around us,” Ethelyn later told the Burlington Times-News.
The gravesite of Ethelyn and Jasper “Harry” Fitch in Burlington on Saturday. The two died a week apart in April of COVID-19.
So many stood out in the tapestry of their country and communities.
When her church recorded its first CD, Deirdra Wynn was often called to the microphone. The praise team leader, who sang through health complications and dialysis, later worked as an administrator at the church, Evangel Word (formerly Evangel Fellowship).
Benjamin Ethan Morgan was a honeybee keeper often called upon to remove bee colonies from homes and businesses — footage of him moving a colony of bees without protective gear once made the national news.
The 91-year-old World War II veteran and marksman, who died April 26, lived in the Sumner vicinity of Guilford County almost his entire life — and is survived by Eloise, his wife of 70 years.
A nature lover at heart, Morgan didn’t just have dogs as pets — but squirrels, raccoons, turkeys, a deer and a crow.
Frances McGruder Wade’s love story could have played out on the movie screen. The Jacksonville, Fla., woman found her husband and best friend, Joseph Wade Sr., later in life.
As a young mother, Wade had worked multiple jobs while single-handedly raising her two children. She died April 11 at the age of 76 and had spent 40 years in the computer data entry field.
And she left with the greatest of accolades.
“Mrs. Wade,” Michelle Fletcher, one of Wade’s fellow church members, wrote in remembrance, “to know you is to know what love really is.”
Shortly before her death earlier this week, Gloria Clarke had become a mini-celebrity from a viral video of her son Mitchel Sommers singing outside of her window once her retirement community banned visitors.
In the years before coming down with the coronavirus, the 92-year-old had split her time living on her own between a condo in California and a beach house on Oak Island, continuing to drive until right before she turned 90. Clarke had lived an unconventional life, especially as a devoted young mother and Jewish woman who worked full time and married a Christian man.
In her later years, the two of them traveled the world.
Clarke, then a widow, later ended up in Greensboro, where Sommers lives, and at Abbotswood, a retirement village, after dealing with health problems.
As the coronavirus spread across the country, the retirement village banned visitors. Sommers, the retired executive director of Community Theatre of Greensboro, who also serves as cantorial soloist at Temple Emanuel, often set up a chair outside her window.
They also talked constantly with a nurse helping her with a speaker phone.
In the days before she died she had slipped into a coma and later tested positive for the virus.
And then she was gone.
Mitchel Sommers sings Que Sera Sera to his mom, Gloria Clarke, over the phone through a window at Abbotswood at Irving Park retirement communi…
“This virus is heartbreaking,” Sommers said.
Many of those afflicted never know how they caught it.
The 33-year-old Dodd, who was diabetic, wore a mask and gloves and loaded up on hand sanitizer every time she left the house.
She found out she was positive for the virus right before she was to undergo a procedure to have an intravenous catheter inserted under her skin to start dialysis for a failing kidney. That was on a Monday, and by Thursday morning she had developed a fever. The fever initially went away with over-the-counter medicine, and her family says EMTs who arrived when they called for an ambulance suggested she avoid the emergency room because they would just send her home anyway.
Within 24 hours she was dead.
“The virus did what none of her other battles in life could,” her brother Dexter Dodd said.
The names behind the numbers
Between March 23 and July 19, 172 Guilford County death certificates listed COVID-19 as a cause of death or contributing factor.
These numbers vary from the daily Guilford County Health Department’s report, which are based on where people lived rather than where they died. Sixty of those who died in Guilford County were from other areas, including neighboring counties.
Here are the names behind those numbers.
Edna Lane Vanstory Headean, 85, hotel housekeeper, April 3
Dorothy Thompson, 76, nurse, May 24
Charles Benjamin Flowers, 92, appliance industry operator, May 13
Lydia Midgette Gaddy, 86, teacher, May 31
Mary Anne Stoneman Riggs, 91, homemaker, May 17
Fred Irvin Summers, 77 metal shop machinist, June 6
Maung Aye, 78, no occupation listed, May 21
Mary Elizabeth Brake, 78, telecommunications industry coordinator, June 25
William Douglas Bramlett, 78, sales, June 15
James Haywood Cheek Jr., 48, lumber company supervisor, April 8
Naomi Roxanna Cherry, housewife, 68, July 18
Antonio Garcia Cortes, 63, self-employed in a retail store, June 22
Donnie Ray Cozart, 80, printing business owner, May 23
Margaret Lavonne Murphy Craig, 93, textile industry chemist, June 2
Margaret Manuel Crawford, 74, hotel industry housekeeping, June 14
Ada C. Dick, 84, school bus driver, June 18
Tara Rochelle Dodd, 33, waitress at Sagebrush in Reidsville and Golden Corral in Greensboro, June 25
Leonard Elton Drew, 82, garment industry buyer, June 3
Yvonne J. Jennings Florence, 66, no occupation listed, July 15
James Richard Funk, 87, telecommunications electrical engineer, June 1
Roy Paul Gallimore, 74, maintenance Stone Co., June 1
Carolyn Annette Watson Glenn, 70, Board of Education secretary, April 21
Placida Lopez Gomez, 46, homemaker, June 21
Fred Kemp Gordon, 65, architectural hardware consultant and vice president at Hardware Distributors, April 13
Mortie Ray Hamilton, 77, plumbing industry sales, May 11
Silvestre Hernandez, 84, security guard, May 11
Mikie Ray Honeycutt, 66, police officer, April 4
Cyphus Earl Horton, 66, university boiler department supervisor, May 10
Carolyn Virginia Goode Johnson, 73, certified nursing assistant in a hospital, July 15
Chhim Laim, 68, textile industry janitor, June 2
Jerry Wayne Lee, 66, city of Greensboro maintenance worker, April 19
Ronnie Steven Lucas, 69, USAP electric powerline tech for U.S. Air Force, May 26
Patricia Hope Wade Matthews, 77, self-employed domestic, April 1
Mark Vernon May, 63, no occupation listed, April 26
Debra Faye Watson McKinnon, 66, computer programmer, May 3
Marie Catherine Petty McLaughlin, 84, home care in domestic industry, May 27
Otis Moore, 56, distribution industry checker, April 14
Willie Moore, 77, truck driver for the N.C. Department of Transportation, May 8
Benjamin Ethan Morgan, 91, mechanic, April 26
Donald Elco Morton, 67, carpenter, April 25
Dorothy Pauline Mitchell Morton, 92, a 34-year employee of Lorillard tobacco company, March 23
James Freddie Murphy, 88, special agent for Southern Railroad, May 26
Geraldine Troxler Neal, 83, electronics industry machine operator, May 30
Kanubhai L. Patel, 67, housekeeping industry greeting service, June 20
Smitaben B. Patel, 61, no occupation listed, May 22
Ronald E. Petty Sr., 80, self-employed in the mining industry, April 27
Piw Play, 88, no occupation listed, April 25
John Charles Rabin, 71, video store owner and operator, June 8
Leavina Goldie Fouts Ramsey, 84, homemaker, April 28
Der R’com, 79, machine operator, June 6
Elmer Wilester Ricks Jr., 63, nursing assistant, June 25
Loretta Teresa Mackenzie Roach, 80, accounting, June 13
Frank James Salvadore, 93, insurance underwriter, July 10
Rita Agnes Vetter Scearce, 67, insurance industry business analyst, April 27
Aubrey Delisser Scott, 74, truck driver, April 3
Sofia Agnes Nowakowski Seaberg, 89, bank teller, July 10
Virginia Ruth Miller Seagraves, 84, homemaker, May 13
Winston Zau La Sha-re, 65, sushi chef, May 20
Robert Leon Shaw, 68, self-employed dental technician, June 3
Jacquelyn Patricia Smith, 82, manufacturing industry supervisor, June 26
Revell Porter Smith, 81, dry cleaning presser, May 28
Nathan Elmer Spruill Sr., 93, truck driver for P.T. Huffman and Fredrickson Motor Lines, June 8
Frederick Brown Starr, 87, former CEO of Thomasville Furniture Industries whose volunteer roles included Reynolda House Museum, the Eastern Music Festival and UNCG, April 1
Beatrice Elizabeth Woods Stephenson, 79, homemaker, May 11
Richard Evans Stockton, 91, former professional baseball player, Air Force veteran and chiropractor, May 26
Al-Jeanne Dixon Suffem, 86, silk screener, May 31
Marie Lourdes Haag Thomal, 87, electronics industry assembler, July 15
Regino Toledo Valverde, 98, carpenter, June 10
Mildred M. Morehead Wallington, 92, school system cook, June 26
Bette Raye Allred Weatherly, 93, sales, April 22
Napoleon Clinton Whitsett Sr., 66, machine operator for Gold Toe, June 6
Martha Claudette Freeman Wilson, 82, no occupation listed, July 16
Max Eugene Wood, 86, Southern Baptist minister, Farm Bureau representative, pharmaceutical representative, and a professional truck driver, May 22
Deirdra B. Morton Wynn, 57, church administrator and psalmist, May 10
Joseph Young Sr., 87, water/sewage industry laborer, May 31
Mkogabwe Byakubiri, 71, farmer, April 30
Mildred Beatrice Westerfield Clark, 93, co-owner of RV dealership, June 14
Betty Jean Manning Conyers, 74, certified nursing assistant in a hospital, June 30
Ana Edilia Corro-Montiel, 39, nurse, April 26
Cicero Armstead Crump, 92, self employed in accounting, April 26
Thomas Matthew Dennis Sr., 56, Procter & Gamble, April 16
Hudson Brown Dutch, 96, manufacturing industry stocker, June 29
Reba Hicks Ferree, 95, bank teller, May 28
Roberto Matias Giles, 53, carpenter, June 19
Herbert Lee Johnson, 82, laborer, April 28
Sardar Ali Khan, 75, machine operator, June 12
Harry Kimble, 93, photographer for Alderman Studios, July 11
Linda Cornelia Little Kinsler, 84, bus monitor, June 27
Lan Huong Ti Le, 74, homemaker, April 20
Khai Quang Le, 71, mechanic, June 16
James Ledbetter, 80, shipping in textiles, June 10
Maria Gricelda Maciel Maciel-Garcia, 57, homemaker, May 31
Martha Lassiter Meredith, 98, homemaker, May 4
Peter John Miklos, 93, barber, May 21
Sarah Stancil Montague, 79, nursing, June 2
Dale Lee Silk, 83, mechanic, May 29
Belinda Hall Terry, 61, nurse in a nursing facility, June 22
Winston V. Wellington, 75, Guilford County Schools custodian, July 1
Mary Fannie Jackson, 90, nurse, May 31
Judith Ann Kirkman, 78, no occupation listed, April 13
Pamela Howie Williams, 66, manufacturing industry inspector, May 31
John Graham Newsome Sr., 89, Army veteran and truck driver Central Motor Lines, April 4
Michael Lee Jordan, 69, Coast Guard veteran, Sears Outlet Stores assistant manager and Grainger territory sales rep, April 10
James Dalton Amick, 78, self-employed in HVAC industry, April 1
Martha Graves Day, 79, textile industry laborer, April 28
Natalie Kaufman Gains, 96, teacher, May 3
Cladis Maxine Nelson Moore, 90, seamstress of men’s clothing, June 5
Alma T. Thomas Richardson, 91, secretary for the insurance industry, May 26
Mary Irene Ingold Sharpe, 97, office administrator for Alamance Hosiery Mill, May 23
Paul J. Williams, 97, truck driver, May 30
Martha Nell Martin Wilson, 85, inspector for the textile industry, May 24
Henry Vance Starnes, 95, HVAC service technician, April 26
From other areas
Saundra Earlene Crutchfield Amedee of Graham, 65, police department administration, July 12
Phillip James Anthony of Burlington, 73, no occupation listed, May 29
Chattie B. Graves Brown of Burlington, 91, processor/agent for a national security agency, May 20
Barbara Ann Crawford Bynum of Burlington, 70, textile worker, May 19
Judy Diane King Clark of Burlington, 66, homemaker, July 15
Janet Anita Taliaferro Copeman of Burlington, 76, special education driver, May 4
Eula Ethelyn Trull Fitch of Burlington, 80, hospital clerk, April 30
Jasper Harrison Fitch of Burlington, 90, power plant stock clerk, April 23
Barbara Carol Shepherd Garrison of Burlington, 88, teacher, May 28
Marcelene Graves of Burlington, 81, no occupation listed, June 8
Harry Lee Jacobs Sr. of Graham, 73, Lucent Technologies janitor, May 21
Janet Lee Jeffries of Burlington, 60, teacher’s assistant, May 10
Ronald Richard Johnson of Burlington, 80, department store manager and substitute teacher, June 2
Virginia Carolyn Brooks Jones of Burlington, 81, housewife, May 7
Agie Jones Mills of Graham, 84, homemaker, June 13
Brenda Lee Newcomb of Burlington, 53, food service associate, May 12
David Lee Patterson of Graham, 77, furniture finisher, May 6
Hurlon Potent of Mebane, 70, textile worker, May 10
Bertha Mae Bigelow Rawls of Burlington, 73, nurse, June 17
Opal Odessa Howell Scott of Burlington, 73, homemaker, June 7
John Thomas Sullivan of Burlington, 73, information technology, entrepreneur May 19
Ronald Edward White of Mebane, 70, food service industry stocker, May 26
Manuel Delgado Avila of Asheboro, 59, upholsterer for furniture manufacturer, June 14
Jose Cruz Hernandez of Asheboro, 57, maintenance for auto parts manufacturer, June 15
Harlen Eugene Hunt of Asheboro, 83, fixer for cloth manufacturer, April 14
Ronald Eugene Hunt of Asheboro, 52, supervisor for a plastic manufacturer, April 25
Pamela R. Reynolds Kennedy of Sophia, 69, technology industry control analyst, July 7
David Rex Kern of Asheboro, 74, self employed in recycling industry, May 28
Evelyn Darnell Morgan Long of Asheboro, 74, pottery shop artist, June 23
Jose Merced Lopez-Herrera of Randleman, 82, school teacher, May 24
Carlos Enrique Ornelas of Randleman, 49, journeyman, June 20
Bartolo Beltran-Orti of Asheboro, 58, furniture industry supervisor, June 24
Ruben Allen Rush of Randleman, 69, machine operator for Goodyear Tire, April 3
Aniseto Beltran Sagrero of Asheboro, 63, laborer, May 21
Edna Earl Brafford Scotton of Ramseur, 85, homemaker, June 8
Paul Byron Smith of Liberty, 92, furniture manufacturing supervisor, June 14
Nancy Ruth Shore Swarington of Liberty, 83, printer circuit for Western Electric Liberty, May 4
Robert Douglas Bachman of Reidsville, 69, courier for a lab, July 11
Mary Ellen Farrish Belton of Reidsville, 84, hotel server, July 14
Joy Annette Dunlap Helms of Reidsville, 62, call center operator for Deluxe Corp, April 1
Carl Joseph Lucion of Reidsville, 71 print media sales, April 8
Sharon Ann Walls of Reidsville, 66, secretary, July 19
Terry LaVerne Strange Smith of Winston-Salem, 67, environmental services custodian, July 15
Clarence Edwin West Jr. of Kernersville, 74, roofer, June 23
Jessie Lee Bouknight Byers of Lexington, 87, homemaker, May 1
David Baxter Gallimore of Thomasville, 91, bakery delivery driver, May 25
John Wallace Hogan of Lexington, 76, laborer for furniture factory, April 27
Eugene Harley Batton of Southport, 83, brick mason, May 6
Amanda Faye Willett Brooks of Siler City, 88, fabric industry sales, May 8
Billy Joe Campbell of Denton, 83, furniture industry builder, July 14
Robert Headen of Siler City, 80, furniture builder, May 29
Nancy Ann Ball Hogan of Denton, 76, furniture manufacturing sewer, July 17
Rudolph L. Holden of Wendell, 77, correctional officer, May 19
Maxine Bostick Jenkins of Wilson, 81, nurse, May 1
Elsie Fow Brafford Jones of Siler City, 89, textile industry inspector, May 24
Mary Lane Moore of Lenoir, 74, furniture industry finisher, July 4
Eliseo Posada-Moreno of North Wilkesboro, 74, food production trimmer, May 27
Jennifer Thorpe of Oxford, 50, C.A. at Oxford Manor, July 9
Frances McGruder Wade of Jacksonville, Fla., 76, banker, April 11
Lynda Faye Bolick Williams of Franklinville, 73, cotton mill machine operator, June 8
Contact Nancy McLaughlin at
336-373-7049 and follow
@nmclaughlinNR on Twitter.