The COVID Remembrance Project
More than 19,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. We'd like to remember some of the people from the Cape, Coast and Islands on the air and on our website. Leave us a voicemail by calling (508) 289-1416, or email us a voice memo at CAI@capeandislands.org with a remembrance of your loved one.
The name of your loved one, how old they were, where they lived, and what the relationship to you was.
Some other questions to consider:
What is one of your fondest memories?
What legacy did they leave?
What's it been like without them?
What's different in your life without them?
What did it sound like to have that person in your life?
If you had another day with that person, what would you do and what would you say?
Please leave your contact information — it will not be public — in case we need to reach out. Please send along a photo or two as well.
*If your contribution is used on the air it will be edited for time.
David Eaton, 67
Donna Eaton, an insurance associate in Yarmouthport, remembers her husband of 45 years, David Eaton. David was 67 when he died of COVID-19 in March of 2021.
He loved teaching young children how to fish. He felt once you got somebody interested in fishing, you got them for life and they would keep coming back. And they would just have the love of fishing that he had.
We used to go whale watching and just seeing the whales was just awesome. We go down to P-town way. Sometimes we took our grandchildren and we would see some of the sea turtles basking in the sun. One day we were fishing with the grandkids. And they had more fun playing with the bait in the live well then catching the fish. And even if they caught like a shark, they were so excited because it was a shark, even though it was only a little sand shark. But he just loved to see the people happy. He lived to see the joy on their faces.
Bob Stout, 95
Dennis resident Bob Stout was a World War 2 veteran, and a frequent letter writer to the local paper. He died at 95 at Cape Cod Hospital. Here’s Susan Stout remembering her father.
I was young, I was maybe five or six, and I was home with the mumps, and my dad walked into my bedroom one afternoon and I was just pitiful. And of course, as a child, you become more pitiful when a parent walks in the room.
I remember he was wearing this London Fog-type jacket. He was talking to me, and I'm sure I was whining about how I was feeling. And all of a sudden this kitten had popped up out of his coat pocket. It just appeared, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my dad as a kitten in his pocket!’ He brought this kitten home to cheer me up. And even to the end, he was gracious and charming. I mean, my dad was a class act. He really was.
Tim Hystad, 53
Wendi Hystad, a nurse in Barnstable, remembers her husband Tim who died in April of 2021. He was 53.
"We always could cut up and make each other laugh over just stupid stuff.
One time he was cooking and he put on one of my scrub hats that I wear at work. But he poofed it up, you know, makes it look like a big chef’s cap.
And he would walk out down the hallway all of a sudden and he'd purposely have his like belt/pants loose and they would just fall down and he would do it just to mess with me, to make me laugh.
Just little things like that, but the little things that mattered the most, you know? It seems quiet sometimes now, but yeah, lots of laughter, and I miss that so much."
John Perrone, 70
Matthew Dunn worked with John Perrone at Provincetown radio station, WOMR, for nearly 15 years. Perrone, a Navy-veteran-turned-late night DJ, went by ‘Midnight Johnny.’ He died in April, 2020. He was 70.
"He had a very razor-sharp focus on what his repertoire was, of what his area of expertise was… you know, this sort of Motown/soul music [is] something that he was able to present to people and help them to enjoy the things that they already knew, but also … to add texture and nuance and background.
Like, everybody's heard the temptations before, but he's talking to the bass player, whatever. And he was not sort of elitist about it or anything. He was just a normal guy talking about the stuff that he liked … and he knew what he was talking about, and people enjoyed that."
Dennis Brandao, 77
Denise Harris, of Hyannis, recalls time spent with her father, Dennis Brandao.
"He came over every day. He used to Uber, so in between his Ubering, he would always stop by if he saw my door open. … And then his Uber would go off, and he said, “Okay, I gotta go.” So it was always less than a five-minute visit, but that visit happened every day.
We drove to California together twice. Once we made it a vacation, took maybe a month and we just stopped in every couple of states and just kind of bounced around.
When he was brought to the hospital, even the first three days he was in the hospital, he kept on telling me, “Oh, they said that I'll be able to go home in a couple of days, as soon as I get my oxygen level up.” And then a week later, he was on the ventilator, and four days after that, he was gone."
Antone “Toi” Fortes, 73
Nicole Fortes-Williams, of New Bedford, lost her father, Antone “Toi” Fortes, a gymnastics coach at schools and local gyms.
"He would bring the mats down to the Washington Square Park, and all the kids from the community would come and do gymnastics with him for two hours. And I can remember him, you know, charging a dollar — if they had it.
We lived downstairs from him. I was living with my dad my whole life. So the family home he bought in 1997, my children were all brought home to this home. So we spent every day together, and he made his entrance known when he came in the hallway door, either calling for me because he needed something or, you know, calling for one of the kids because, you know, he wanted some company upstairs with him. So we were all very close."
Danny Parr, 60
Bobby Parr of Harwich lost his brother Danny to complications from COVID in April of 2020.
Bobby Parr speaks about his brother, Danny:
"He was my Google. … After I bought my first house in Ipswich and of course this home here, I wanted to try to do things and everything I would try, I would call Danny first. "How do I do this?" And he would always know. He'd say, ‘Well, you have to sand first, do this, do that --' for anything. He would know anything. If you ever think of Jack of all trades – that was Danny….
And, you know, sometimes, we'd pull pranks on each other and stuff…. I would have stupid jokes and puns and stuff I would come up with and Danny would just look at me and shake his head and say, “what is it, third grade Bobby?” [laughs]
Just, I love you… I’ve told him that before, but I’d tell him again."
Josh Kuehn, 42
Julianne Kuehn of South Yarmouth lost her husband Josh Kuehn to complications from COVID pneumonia in December 2021. She says he was charismatic, gentle, protective, a great storyteller, and an even better dad. The couple was together for almost 20 years before the tattoo artist died at age 42.
Julianne talks about Josh:
"There was one Halloween where we were all dressed up as pirates and a local pirate group called Pirates of the Cape stopped us in our neighborhood and they just made a connection, and he joined their group where they do a lot of nonprofit things. Sometimes people would hire him for birthday parties …. And he loved working with kids and just loved to make them smile. And, you know, just be kind of happy and jolly and goofy. He was looking forward to the older years where he'd be able to be a Santa Claus because his ginger beard was just starting to turn white, and that was another character that he knew he was going to be able to pull off. …. Um, he was the light in a room, basically."