Local News

Loving husband, dedicated public servant, matriarch: NC approaches 1,000 dead from coronavirus

Posted June 1, 2020 6:47 p.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2020 7:16 p.m. EDT

As the number of North Carolinians lost to the novel coronavirus climbs toward 1,000, the numbers can seem daunting and divert from the humanity of dead.

Adrian Grubbs, a sanitation supervisor with the City of Raleigh for 17 years, was the only the third person to die in North Carolina from the virus. He died in March.

“He was a good man. He was a great man, a loving husband, a devoted father," said Chanda Grubbs, Adrian’s widow.

Since March, the number of deaths continued to rise.

Dulce Garcia, 29, who was in interpreter at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, died on May 26.

She "would give everything to her family and friends and never ever ask for anything in return," said Yovani Garcia, Dulce’s brother.

Like Garcia, Montgomery County School Resource Officer "Bud" Phong, a father of 5, dedicated his life to helping others before COVID-19 took his life.

"Bud was just somebody that everybody flocked to. If Bud was around you couldn’t have a frown on your face," said Captain Andre Garner of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office.

In photographs, 76-year-old Judy Harward, a former Durham City Council woman, always had a smile on her face, especially when she was with her large, loving family. She was buried in Maplewood Cemetery after her April 3 death from COVID-19.

"It could be my mother, it could be anyone. If it can be said, just be careful. This hit home obviously for all of us," said Chris Harward, Harward’s son.

And now, it’s hitting home for all of us. Not numbers, but real people, people who were loved and people who mattered.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.