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Mayor Lovely Warren's mother dies from complications of COVID-19, heart failure


Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced Wednesday that her mother, Elrita “Rita” McClary Warren, died due to complications from congestive heart failure and a COVID-19 infection that she acquired while she was hospitalized. She died in Rochester.

The elder Warren contracted COVID-19 while being treated in the hospital for her heart condition. She was 71 and a native of Kingstree, South Carolina.

“Our family was my mother’s passion,” the mayor said in a prepared statement. “She was always guiding us, fighting for us and living for us each day. Her love for her children and grandchildren was boundless; and, she had plenty of love left over. As my sister Yantise always said, 'Our mother never met a stranger.' Whether in the grocery store or at church, our mother always had a kind word and she loved to grow her circle of friends.”

The mayor said that her mother was known for her dedication to the geriatric patients she cared for during her career in health care.

“My mom always wanted her patients to know that someone truly cared for them and that they were not forgotten,” she said. “She wanted them to know that they weren’t alone and that they were still valued. That was tremendously important to her.”

Warren released a statement saying that she wants her mother’s passing to be a clarion call to the community “to re-double our efforts to protect our circles and continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Due to her heart condition, my mother was tremendously careful about practicing behaviors to avoid catching the coronavirus,” Warren said. “Still, she was infected by this insidious disease. This is a stark reminder that COVID-19 can infect anyone, at any age, at any time and that we all need to wear masks, practice social distancing and make smart decisions about where and how we gather. We will only end this pandemic when all of us start doing the right things to stop this spread.”

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.