Publication and website seek to chronicle the lives of local COVID-19 fatalities

May 20, 2020
Eastern Shore First

Ellen Marie DouglasEllen Marie Douglas of New Church loved her family and loved to cook.

She hosted all the holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter and birthdays.

“She was the cook of the family,” said her daughter, Toi Douglas of Princess Anne, Maryland.

“My mom cooked dinner that Sunday before she took ill.”

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Her family had no way of knowing the illness would take Douglas’ life. She went to the hospital April 2. On April 8, she became the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s first COVID-19 fatality.

Health officials are not releasing the names of those who died from COVID-19. As of Monday, there had been nine coronavirus deaths in each of Northampton and Accomack counties.

A local monthly publication and its website have created an online memorial for those on the Eastern Shore, or from the area and living elsewhere, who have been fatally sickened by COVID-19.

“People are more than a number,” said Ted Shockley, who is in his fourth year of publishing the monthly Eastern Shore First and its website,

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“The people fatally sickened by the coronavirus and COVID-19 should be known for their lives, and not just their deaths.”

He has a page on called The Eastern Shore of Virginia COVID-19 Memorial Page and will be updating it as he interacts with more families.

He hopes to have it include stories of those living on the Eastern Shore, or from the area, who have died of COVID-19 or complications of it.

He hopes the families of those lost will reach out to him at 757-999-9919 or email [email protected].
Douglas was a faithful parishioner at House of Prayer United Methodist Church in Bloxom and retired two years ago after a long career as a U.S. Department of Agriculture food inspector.

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“It’s bad,” said her daughter of the illness. “People do need to take it seriously.”




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