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Remembering Northwood’s COVID-19 dead

The outbreak claimed dozens, including a card shark, a restaurateur and a woman who loved to dance at the Legion.

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In the 44 days between April 17 and May 30, 2020, there were 53 residents of the Northwood long-term care residence who died of COVID-19. They were announced each day as a statistic at the premier's COVID briefing. Their names, and their stories, were kept anonymous. The death toll became a data point that gave no hint of the shock and pain the loss caused their families and communities. In hopes of honouring them as people, The Coast has compiled this list of the Northwood dead. If your family member also died in the outbreak and you would like to add them to this memorial, please contact us by emailing remember@thecoast.ca.


Eride Bonomo, 91, emigrated from the Italian Alps as a young woman, through Pier 21, to join her husband in Halifax; she was a renowned cook and gardener, and worked for years in the VG Hospital laundry room

Kathleen “Kay” Duffet, 92, worked on the cleaning crew at Province House for more than 30 years; she loved General Hospital, knitting and a good came of cards, and she made legendary French fries

Ruth Madeline Bliss, 83, worked in sales at Sears and was a devout Anglican who volunteered with many Christian service organizations

Georgina “Gena” Hemsworth, 78, was a longtime secretary at the Nova Scotia Community College, a bowler and bingo player who called home when she was away to talk to her cats

Derrick Carvery, 37, loved boats, and he and his mother would ride the ferry back and forth between Halifax and Dartmouth on summer afternoons

Evelina Upshaw, who counted triplets among the six kids she raised as a single mum, also fed 125 children a hot, home-cooked lunch every single weekday for more than 30 years out of a kitchen on Cornwallis Street

Bunny Tanner, 84, worked on the sales floor at Sears and Walmart, and as a hospital cleaner, but her favourite job was grandmother

Thelma Coward-Ince, 87, was the first Black naval reservist in Canada; she loved libraries, volunteer work and singing in the Nova Scotia Mass Choir

Eleanor “Ellie” Morrisey, 82, was a mother of eight, with a sparkling sense of humour and a love of ghost stories, swimming and long walks

Ronald O’Dor, 75, pioneered many uses of technology in the study of ocean species and researched them on seven continents; he adored cephalopods and clever puns

Gerald Jackson, 84, was a father of seven and a Navy veteran

Paul Sullivan, 83, a father of six, a devout Catholic and an insurance salesman who kept so busy his kids called him the Energizer Bunny

Jean Elizabeth Blackman, 95, loved bridge, curling and especially golf; she collected china dogs and was the secretary at St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary School for many years

Hermance Cormier, 87, was one of 13 children in an Acadian family; she learned English watching television when she moved to Halifax as a young woman, but sang beautifully, in French, all her life

Doug Rosborough, 91, was a bon vivant who designed and built wooden yachts that sailed the globe

Mamie Francis, 88, loved to laugh and tell stories, and believed this was best done while sharing ice cream

Barbara Ann Leclerc, 69, found friendship and fellowship when she converted to Catholicism as an adult; she faced bipolar disorder with quiet dignity, and she loved to dance at the Legion

Ralph Vincent, 91, was a plumber who built a construction business; he loved to hunt and fish and spend time in the woods

Hilda Webber, 96, quit grade school to raise her younger siblings, and then worked all her life to raise five kids of her own as a single parent

Murray Holman, 68, was a meat-cutter turned restaurateur who loved to tell a good story

Jean Harrigan, 90, was an officer manager who loved to dance and sing and helped raise her seven younger siblings

Patricia West, 66, who was fiery, independent and fiercely proud of her daughter

Christian Marfels, a professor of economics, antique collector and enthusiastic traveller who taught both at Dalhousie University and in Europe

Leo Murphy, 75, a commercial truck driver, bus driver and enthusiastic sports fan

Eunice Scribner, 87, a card shark and first-aider who loved children, music and animals

Myra Freeborne, 90

Frances Celeste MacDougall, 84

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