Farewell to those lives we’ve lost to COVID-19

A shortlist of the Louisianans who’ve died due to the coronavirus.

Raymond E “Chicago” Barnett, 67, passed away on April 17, 2020, in Mt Vernon, IL, from complications of COVID-19. Born April 24,1952, in Chicago, IL. Raymond attended Richard T Crane High School and graduated from Southern University. A United States Marine Corps Veteran, he leaves to cherish his memories children, Raymond Jr., Whitney, and Jalae, sister Lorraine. He was laid to rest at the Louisiana National Cemetery, in Zachary.

Rev. Harry Blake, 85, Shreveport pastor and civil rights activist, passed away on April 8, 2020, after a brief illness due to COVID-19. Born  October 21, 1934, he was raised on Ashley plantation. In the 1960s, he survived an assassin’s bullet,  police beatings, and unjust arrests in Shreveport as he fought for equal rights. He worked with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his staff for four years and worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 2018, Blake stepped down as pastor of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, where he led the congregation for 52 years. He recently returned to the pulpit and before his illness, served as interim pastor at St. Rest Baptist Church in Shreveport.

Edward Brooks Sr., 73, East Feliciana Parish Police Juror, passed away on April 20, 2020, due to COVID-19. He was on the first year of his eighth term as juror of District 2. Having served 25 years, he was the parish’s longest serving police juror. He was married to Queenola Brooks for 50 years and his son, Edward Brooks Jr., is a school board representative in the parish.

Arthur J. Boyd, 87, of New Orleans passed away on April 8, 2020,  after struggling with COVID-19,. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Sr. and Getrude W. Boyd. He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved companion of 60 years, Catherine Ricard, and eight children.

Freddie “Bilbo” Clark, 73, passed away on May 5, 2020, due to COVID-19. A native of Clinton and a resident of Baton Rouge, he graduated McKinley Senior High in 1965. He attended Grambling University and the University of Wisconsin. He worked and raised a family for 42 years in Madison, WI, before returning home in 2008. He was active in the community and church, including service as president of McKinley Class of 65, McKinley Alumni  Athletic Association, St. Vincent de Paul, Together Baton Rouge and Chairman of The Deacons Board and Trustee Board Member at Greater St. Luke Baptist Church

Kendall Pierre Sr., 45, passed away on May 2, 2020, due to complications of the coronavirus. Born on May 9, 1974, he was a lifelong resident of Ama, La., and the master barber and operator of Pierre’s Barber and Beauty Salon. In 2009, he was installed as the senior pastor of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and led the church through significant growth. He was also the  head coach of the Southeast Louisiana Warriors Elite Mentoring Program. He leaves behind a wife of 24 years, Sabrina, and three children to cherish his life.

Noleta “Lady” Populars, 43,passed away on April 22, 2020, of the coronavirus after being recently diagnosed with kidney disease. spent her life in St. Gabriel and graduated from East Iberville High School. She worked as a substitute teacher and in the health insurance sector. She was among the first confirmed cases in the rural St. Gabriel area and one of the state’s youngest to die of COVID-19.

Shenetta White-Ballard, 44, nurse at Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation, Port Allen resident passed away on May 1, 2020. At the time of her death at least 15 residents at the nursing home had died from COVID-19, 26 had been diagnosed with the disease, and 14 staff members had been infected


To share the memory of your family member, email thedrumnewspaper@gmail.com with the subject FAREWELL. Feel free to include a photo. You may also complete the form on the submit news page here.