Farewell: Louisiana COVID deaths


Kejuane BATES, 36, a Vidalia police officer who died April 1 of coronavirus. He served as a DARE officer and school resources officer. Bates also pastored the Forest Aid Baptist Church on Lower Woodville Road in Natchez.

Cornell “Dickey” Charles, 51, Lusher Charter School sports coach passed away  March 24 from complications due to the coronavirus. He served as the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club Governor’s Krewe since 2004 and served illustrious Charge D’Affaire since 2005. He was born June 23, 1968, in New Orleans.

Willis Joseph Curley Sr , 76, a Dunson resident, he owned W.J.C.S General Contractors of the South, LLC. He was a dedicated Deacon at Gethsemane Church of God in Christ and volunteer at the Food Net. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Rita Mae Curley. He was born January 14, 1944.

Rev. Ronnie Hampton,64, pastor of New Vision Community Church in Shreveport. He was known for his “Takin’ it to the Streets” ministry and its service to the inner-city neighborhoods. He was born Dec. 23, 1955, and died March 25.

Robert Francis, 76, and Gwendolyn Francis, 74, of Bogalusa. They were married for more than 50 years and passed four days apart — Gwendolyn Francis on March 30, and Robert Francis on April 3  — as a result of coronavirus complications.  A gardener who lived with lupus, Gwendolyn was a diabetic and was recovering from a stroke. Robert had no existing condition. Robert Francis was born on Nov. 13, 1943, in Bogalusa. Gwendolyn Francis was born on June 28, 1945, in Bogalusa.

CHRISTOPHER HOLLIS,  58, native of Ferriday, LA and a resident of Baton Rouge, passed away Tuesday, March 31. He was employed at Georgia Pacific. He was a member of the Greater New Galilee Baptist Church and married to Cary Lynn Clark Hollins.

LARRY AUTHUR HAMOND,  70, a retired postal worker and Air Force veteran who tutored, mentored and provided Christmas presents through Omega Psi Phi in New Orleans. He was Zulu Mardi Gras King in 2007. He died on March 31, leaving behind his wife, Lillian. At least eight of Zulu’s 800 members have died of COVID-19, according to board chairman, City Councilman Jay H. Banks.

ROBBIN EAMES HARDY, 56, vice president of Faith Hope & Love Worship Center, in Baton Rouge, passed April 6. September 15, 1963. She founded Young Women For Christ more than 30 years ago, which later evolved into Girls Enrichment Mentorship Services. She leaves her husband of 38 years, Ronald Hardy Sr., five children, and seven grandchildren to cherish her memory.

Andraia Sanders, 44, a resident of Webster parish who worked with homeless veterans at Volunteers of America North Louisiana. The mother of two passed Monday, Mar. 23 after traveling to New Orleans for a work conference.

Sgt. Gregory Warren, 53, a supervisor in East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, passed away April 5 from COVID-19 and pneumonia-related complications. He served more than 26 years with EBRSO. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Carol Warren, three childrenℜ

About Zenobia Reed 70 Articles
Zenobia Reed is a Ponchatoula native and the social media editor for The Drum Newspaper. Follow her work on twitter and Facebook @theDrumNews.