Local News

Clayton mourns again; firefighter's wife dies of COVID-19

Posted October 1, 2020 4:01 p.m. EDT
Updated October 1, 2020 4:20 p.m. EDT

Alison Vessie

— Just a week after Clayton mourned the loss of firefighter Jason Dean, the community has been hit with another loss. Alison Michaud Vessie, the wife of a part-timer on the force, died of complications from COVID-19, the town announced Thursday.

Vessie, 53, lost her battle as the procession to remember Dean made its way through Clayton streets on Monday, town spokeswoman Stacy Beard said.

Memorial outside of the Clayton Fire Department for Jason Dean, a 20-year-old member of the Fire Department who died of COVID-19

Vessie was a wife, mother and Clayton real estate agent who had beaten stage 4 cancer. She was also chef and owner of The Plain Jane Baking Company, which operated for many years at the State Farmers Market.

She is survived by her husband, Matthew, and daughter, Arden.

Beard said the Vessie family wanted to share a message about the coronavirus:

Please, in honor of Alison, understand that this pandemic is not an issue of politics but one of public health and protecting each other. Please continue to wear masks, socially distance, and wash your hands frequently. This family has seen how miserable COVID is to live through – in this case proving even more formidable than cancer.

Of 17 firefighters in Clayton who tested positive for the coronavirus, one remains hospitalized, Beard said. Fire Equipment Operator Steve Benson was transferred recently from Johnston Health Smithfield to WakeMed Rehab.

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