Watch CBS News

Remembering Detroiters We Lost To COVID-19

(CBS DETROIT) - It came like a thief in the night, stealing loved ones and sickening many. The COVID-19 coronavirus is affecting the world and leaving pain right here in Detroit.

As of Thursday afternoon, the virus has claimed the lives of 60 people across Michigan. Here are a few faces of those that have lost their lives just this week.

"My sister the ballroom queen," said Omari Barksdale.

Barksdale gushed about his beloved big sister, Laneeka Barksdale. Memories is all Omari has of his sister. He doesn't want you to remember the 47-year-old mother of four, for how she died, but how she lived.

"She loved to dance man since we were very little. Everybody loved the personality she smiled, she'll make you feel special, she'll make you feel included. That's just who she was," he said.

She passed away Monday, March 23, and is survived by her four children.

Just a day later, COVID-19 took yet another Detroiter.

"If you know Marlowe, connecting to the history, connecting to the people has been his main thing," said Ian Conyers.

Former Detroit State Rep. Ian Conyers says he is devastated by the loss of his friend and mentor. An advocate for the city, Marlowe Stoudamire is known for so much, but best known for taking the knowledge he acquired while traveling the world and bringing those ideas back to the city he loved, in order to make it a better place.

"We all know he was involved heavily in the Detroit 67 project, but he wanted us to continue to live that and to know just who we are just what our contributions have been and again I can't stress how important the next generation was to him," said Conyers.

Marlowe leaves behind a wife and two school-aged children, he was 43-years-old.

Reports of COVID-19 being present in the Wayne County Sheriff's Department began to surface this week, and just a day after Marlowe's passing, COVID-19 took the life of one of those sheriff's.

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon says he's known 63-year-old Donafye Collins since their teen years. He said he would often tease Collins about his second passion, as a radio personality.

"I would just say man you just keep that radio voice all the time, you know to get out of that radio voice, and that was kind of a little joke between the two of us," said Napoleon.

Donafye is survived by his wife and four children.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.