They were the much-loved grandparents, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who sadly died as the pandemic devastated the city and beyond.
Across the UK, more than 71,000 people have died after contracting coronavirus in 2020. The deadly virus had claimed 7,872 lives in the West Midlands as of latest data on Dec 31.
A number of NHS employees – from consultants to mental health nurses, midwives to carers – passed away after contracting Covid-19 in Birmingham, the Black Country and Worcestershire.
A well-known bus driver, a popular teacher, an amazing midwife, a granddad-of-19 and a devoted mum-of-three are also among the tributes below as we remember the faces behind the stark statistics.
As of December 31, 2020, there had been a total of 7,872 deaths recorded in the West Midlands.
The breakdown of those deaths by region was as follows:
*The deaths recorded by Public Health England took place within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
Information has been supplied by families or friends or, in some cases, from inquests heard by the region’s coroners.
We also remember the thousands of people who lost their lives who have not been named publically.
Lillian Mudzivare , 41, who worked as a senior mental health nurse at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, died following a long battle with coronavirus.
The nurse, a mother of daughters and wife to Moses, was “a much-loved” member of staff at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Trust. She had been a valued nurse working at the Trust for two-and-a-half years.
Victor Dinoo, a senior charge nurse with University Hospitals Birmingham, died in Leicester, having tested positive for the virus. Tributes were paid to the “hero” nurse with an “amazing sense of humour” after his death on May 24.
Mumtaz Ahmad, 64, died on March 28, having quickly deteriorated after falling ill just over a week earlier. A popular father-of-five, he was described as a well respected, down to earth man, popular in the local community.
Joan Annie Ashby, 100 , a retired shop owner, was a resident at Castlecroft residential home in Weoley Castle, when she fell getting up from a chair and fractured her hip. She underwent surgery but developed Covid-19 in hospital and died on April 23.
Nazir Awan, 67, grandfather-of-six, from Sutton Coldfield, fell ill with a fever and was taken to Good Hope Hospital where he died on April 9.
He was described as “a role model and leading community figure”. He was the chief executive of Awan International -which was founded nearly 50 years ago – and also well known for his extensive charity work.
Malcolm Barton, 89, a former mayor of Walsall, died on April 13. The father-of-two and grandfather served as the town’s civic leader in 1991.
Charlie Beattie, 82, from Sutton Coldfield, died at the care home he had lived at for two years, after a spell in hospital. His wife Jean paid tribute to her wonderful husband and the incredible staff at the care home, which has seen eight other deaths linked to Covid-19. Charlie, a former teacher, was a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Keith Philip Bodley, 77 , from Ashbrook Grove, Stirchley, suffered a hip fracture in a fall at home on March 8. He developed a chest infection after surgery and died on March 24.
William John Brown, 89, of Swallows Meadow, Shirley, died of Covid-19 on April 1. He had been admitted to Heartlands Hospital on March 13, after falling at home and suffering a hip fracture which led to an operation. He was then transferred to Solihull Hospital and was recovering well but developed a fever and tested positive for the virus, just before his death.
John Bousfield, 65, was an immensely popular football club coach, referee and former NHS worker. He passed away at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – where he had previously worked as a nurse – in March. John, known to many as ‘Bousa’ and ‘Mr Rubery Juniors’, not only co-founded the south Birmingham football club of that name but helped to ‘build a community’.
He had battled the Covid-19 virus for a week but had a number of underlying health conditions and was particularly vulnerable, his family said. His story can be read here
Paul David Coleman, 42, a panel beater, from Aukland Drive, Castle Bromwich, died on April 4 from respiratory failure due to Covid-19, with contributory factors including a spinal fracture, chronic alcoholic liver disease and pituitary surgery.
He was admitted to Heartlands Hospital on February 24 after a fall in his bathroom at home, when he suffered a spinal fracture, but later died after contracting Coronavirus.
Simon Peter Crooks, 60, a retired company secretary, from Tilesford Close, Shirley, was suffering with Parkinson’s Disease when he developed Covid-19. He died at home on April 5th after developing a cough and fever.
Said an inquest report: “The symptoms were initially mild but after a few days became worse and his mobility and walking deteriorated. He collapsed at home…CPR was commenced, paramedics arrived shortly after and continued resuscitation but were unsuccessful.”
Sue Davies, 71, died in the care home where she lived in Yardley Wood, leaving husband Tony and son Paul devastated. Read their heartbreaking story here
Betty Jean Draper, 85, a retired factory worker, lived at New Oscott retirement village, fell and fractured her hip. While recovering from surgery she developed coronavirus. She was discharged home for palliative care and died on April 25.
Safaa Alam, 30, was a midwife in Birmingham before she sadly died as a result of Covid-19. She helped to deliver hundreds of babies at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, where she was described as ‘an amazing midwife’ and ‘true role model’.
Jeanne Elizabeth Evans, 84, of Leasowe Road, Rubery, a former school cleaner, suffered a fractured hip when she fell onto a tiled floor at home. She developed coronavirus symptoms after an operation. The hip injury, chronic kidney disease and hypertension also contributed to her death on April 23.
Marie Ford, 81, of Bramcote Road, Quinton, a former cook, fell and broke her hip. She developed Covid-19 following her operation and died a few days later, on April 18, at home.
Kate Fox was a popular teacher who had taught pupils at Thorns Collegiate College, Quarry Bank, for more than 20 years.
She passed away in the early hours of April 2 following a battle with coronavirus that had exacerbated underlying health-related issues. Read her story here
Pauline Trudy Goldsmith, 88, a resident at Birchmere Mews care home in Knowle, Solihull, had a fall and fractured her hip. She was admitted to hospital but developed coronavirus. She died on April 20.
Noel Fitzgerald Hudson, 88, a retired factory supervisor, fell in the bathroom at his care home, Elliot House, on March 10 and was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for surgery.
His inquest report confirmed he later developed Covid-19 and died on March 23.
Warisa Begum, 83, of Kenelm Road, Small Heath, died from Covid-19 pneumonia at home after suddenly developing shortness of breath.
Said Bibi, 74, of George Arthur Road, Birmingham, died in Heartlands Hospital on April 1 after becoming ill with Covid-19. She had been seen by a doctor on March 27, suffering breathing difficulties and a fever and later suffered two cardiac arrests in quick succession and died.
Thomas Michael Hughes, 71, of Church Hill Road, Solihull developed coronavirus after breaking his hip in a fall in his garden. He died on April 17.
Afsar Hussain, 86, from Saltley, died in hospital less than 24 hours after being diagnosed with coronavirus. Mr Hussain, a former Dudley Road foundry worker, was a father-of-eight and grandfather to 19. He was admitted to Heartlands Hospital on March 20, and died on March 21.
His daughter was the only family member allowed by his side, after begging medics to allow her to sit with her dad in his final moments. Read his tragic story here
Basharat Hussain, 66, a father of seven, lived in the Pleck area of Walsall. He died at Heartlands Hospital on March 25.
Mohammed Iqbal, 66, a “caring and highly respected” father-of-three, of Charlotte Street, died at Walsall Manor Hospital on March 30.
Muhammad Islam,a social worker who supported and looked-after children and care leavers, died after spending ‘several weeks in hospital’ trying to fend off the virus. He was described as “big hearted”, “one of the kindest people I know” and “an amazing man” by heartbroken colleagues at Birmingham Children’s Trust. Read his story here.
Anwar Jan, 84 , from Markby Road, Birmingham, had been unwell with a cough and high temperature for seven days before becoming very ill and developing shortness of breath. Her family called 999 and she quickly went into cardiac arrest. Despite CPR from paramedics she was tragically confirmed dead in the ambulance outside City Hospital.
Doris Johnson, 92, fell at the care home she lived in, The Orchards, in Shard End, and broke her hip. She developed Covid-19 while recovering and sadly died on April 17.
Rozalia Kovacs, 80, a much-loved great-gran, from Wednesbury, passed away at Walsall Manor Hospital on March 28, some 13 days after falling ill.
Mrs Kovacs, originally from Hungary, lived with her daughter Zsuzsanna, granddaughter Nikolett and her great-grandchildren Levente, aged 12, Lily Mia, aged five and two-year-old Daniel. Both Zsuzsanna and Nikolett also had coronavirus symptoms but did not need hospital treatment. Read her story here
Stella Phyllis Jacques, 78, from Tamworth, who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) died after suffering a fall at home and breaking her hip. When admitted to hospital she tested positive for Covid-19 and, though discharged, she was later rushed to hospital after deteriorating and tragically died on April 11.
Mahadaye Jagroop, known as Mary, a nurse, died in Heartlands Hospital, where she worked, on April 22. Devastated colleagues paid tribute to a ‘beautiful’ and ‘much-loved’ member of the team who cared for Covid-19 patients.
She had a distinguished career as a nurse and was a respected NHS worker, the hospital trust said. Read her story here
Joan Betty McGregor Cleaver, 93, was a former textile design consultant. She fell at the care home where she lived, Sunrise in Edgbaston, on March 21. She was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with a fractured hip, which was treated with surgery, but she later developed a chest infection and was diagnosed with Covid-19, dying on April 1.
Sheila Millward, 74, from Brownhills, died on April 11. Her daughter, Kim Harrison, learned of her mum’s death while she was in hospital struggling herself to combat the virus. Read her story here
Areema Nasreen, 36, was a devoted nurse and mum-of-three, who passed away at Walsall Manor Hospital – where she had worked for 16 years. Areema had been fighting for her life at the hospital for around two weeks after contracting the deadly virus. Read tributes to Areema here
Patricia Imelda Mohamed, nee Cowen, aged 87, from Dolphin Lane, Acocks Green, died of Covid-19 in hospital at Heartlands Hospital. Formerly an auxiliary nurse, she was admitted on March 27 after falling in the kitchen at home. She already had a cough and fever, and Coronavirus was confirmed with a positive swab. Sadly she developed viral pneumonia and died on April 2.
Kathleen Winifred Montgomery, 91, a retired store keeper, sustained a fall from bed, one of a series of falls, and a CT scan revealed a brain haemorrhage. At the time of death she had Covid-19, though this was an underlying contributory factor in her death on April 17, the coroner ruled.
Mohammed Nehman, 36, was best known for driving the number eight bus through Alum Rock. He was described as ‘loving, caring and bright’. He died from Covid-19 on April 5.
Mohammed – a married father-of-three – had worked for National Express West Midlands for 11 years, where colleagues said they were ‘heartbroken’. He had two sons, aged 11 and six and an 11-month-old daughter, and had been self-isolating at his Alum Rock home after falling ill with coronavirus symptoms. Read his story and tributes here
Hazel Iris Newton, 68, of Conway Road, Fordbridge, a former cook manager, fell in her garden on April 5 and suffered a shocking spinal injury which left her paralysed. She later developed a pulmonary embolism and coronavirus and died on April 16.
Fr Bernard O’Connor, described as a ‘truly inspirational’ city priest, from St Mary’s Parish Church in Harborne, lost his three week battle against the virus on April 16.
Fr Bernard, who was a member of the Augustinian Friars in Britain and Ireland, died peacefully surrounded by nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Read his story here
Stephanie Peart, 60,a former Walsall councillor, had been self-isolating at her home in Blakenall when she was discovered on March 21 by her brother Chris, who had gone to drop off some essentials for her. Read her story here
William John Penfold, 94, of Plowden Road, Stechford, had been found lying on the floor at home by his family and, in hospital, was found to have suffered an acute kidney injury. He was also found to have coronavirus, which together were the primary causes of his death, ruled the coroner, who said the length of time he was on the floor contributed to his death. He died on April 20 at Heartlands Hospital.
Jocelyn Pettit, 54, from Castle Vale, was found collapsed at her home on April 8 and died a day later in hospital. Her death came just days after her beloved dad Vincent had died from the virus. She was well known and much loved within the Castle Vale community and had been very active within the local punk scene. Read her heartbreaking story here
Susan Prince, 62, was a ‘bubbly’ and ‘funny’ former Pensnett nurse who tragically died from coronavirus on April 8 at Russells Hall Hospital. The nurse turned carer worked for Care 4 U and covered the Dudley area. Read her story here
Vincent Pettit, 86, Jocelyn’s dad, died from the virus on April 4. He had been living in a care home at the time of his death.
Jacqueline Powers, 53, fell at her home in Solihull last December, fracturing her ribs, when coronavirus was still an unknown quantity. Yet three months later, having never left hospital after developing life-threatening complications, it was Covid-19 that finally claimed her life.
Ms Powers, a customer services worker, suffered respiratory failure during a “a difficult and prolonged ITU stay,” eventually transferring to a ward where she died.
Abdul Razaq, 66, a grandfather, died on April 7 – leaving his family and friends devastated. Abdul, who had two sons Nadim and Amar, was described as a ‘good man’ who cared deeply about the community of Chuckery, in Walsall, where he lived for decades. Read his story here
Birnham Roberts, 82, was a much-loved former bus driver who died in City Hospital on March 18 after contracting coronavirus.
The 82-year-old grandfather, from Smethwick, had diabetes and had felt unwell since the start of the month, his daughter Cherelle said. Unable to shake the illness, the former National Express bus driver was transferred from his home to hospital on March 9, where he deteriorated. Read the the former bus driver’s story here
Stanley Edward Robinson, 91, a former cable jointing foreman, from Limetree Road, Streetly, Sutton Coldfield, developed Covid-19 and died at Good Hope Hospital, a month after suffering a fractured ankle when he fell from his stairlift. He later developed hospital-acquired pneumonia and Covid-19 and, despite antibiotics, he continued to deteriorate. Comfort care was agreed with his family and he died on March 28.
Ronald John Rudd, 88, from Moorpark Road, Northfield, was a retired postman. He died on March 22, at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He had been admitted with a cough four days earlier but did not recover.
Mohammed Riaz, 73, from Small Heath, died three days after his wife Karamat Begum, 72. Mrs Begum died on April 9 and her husband on Easter Sunday, April 12.
The devoted grandparents, who had been married for around 50 years, were later buried side-by-side.
Peter Sinclair, 73, famously tutored fomer PM David Cameron before becoming professor of economics at the University of Birmingham. He died on March 31. Read his story here
Pamela Stanway, 63, was a resident under section at the Eden Unit at Brooklands hospital in Marston Green when she became unwell with respiratory failure and was rushed to hospital, where she later died from Covid-19, on April 11.
Allan John Smith, 77, retired decorator, of Forest Close, Sutton Coldfield, Mr Smith had been unwell for two weeks with a cough and high temperature, and was self isolating at home. Tragically, he was found unresponsive in bed by his son on March 25 and, despite attempts by paramedics to revive him, he died.
Caroline Walters, 64, of Meriden, Solihull, died from the virus, prompting her heartbroken daughter Kerry to urge people to ‘stay indoors’. Mrs Walters died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Caroline had been fighting lung cancer when she was diagnosed with the virus. Read her story here
Choudhary Aslam Wassan, 67, popular former food business pioneer and political campaigner, died in intensive care at City Hospital after being overcome by the virus. In a last, heartbreaking phone call just before he was placed on a ventilator in an effort to save him, he told son Zia: “Look after your mum and the family, take care of yourself, and I will see you in three days.”
The ventilator was switched off after he showed no signs of recovering, said nephew Jawaad Ashraf, speaking on behalf of the family. Read his story here
Barbara May Ward, 86, from Walsall Road, Perry Barr, was found dead at home after reporting coronavirus symptoms the day before. Police attended after concerns were raised about her and found her collapsed.
Alan Warman, 62, of Groveley Lane, Longbridge, collapsed at home after suffering severe effects of coronavirus. He had tested positive the day before. Sadly he could not be revived and died at home.
Stanley Thomas Waters, 89, a retired heat engineer, from Kingsbrook Drive, Hillfield, Solihull, died at Solihull Hospital on April 5th, where he had been transferred for rehabilitation from Heartlands Hospital.
He had originally gone into hospital with a hip fracture after falling at home while bending over and lost his balance. He was given a total hip replacement on February 2 but then developed respiratory symptoms, including a hospital acquired pneumonia and then Covid-19. He died on April 5.
Dr Vishna Rasiah, a consultant neonatologist at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, lost his life on April 24. He was married with a daughter. Announcing his death, the chief executive of Birmingham Women and Children’s Foundation NHS Trust, Sarah-Jane Marsh, said he was “passionate” about the care of babies and their families.
Dr Rasiah – who was known to his friends as Vish – was the clinical lead for the regional neonatal network.
Barbara Freda Whiting, 92, of Meriden Rise, Solihull, fell while vacuuming at home, fracturing her right hip. She was in hospital for ten days, undergoing surgery, and was discharged home; however, the next day, March 31st, she was readmitted to Heartlands Hospital because she was struggling at home and was in pain. She later tested positive for Covid-19 and suddenly deteriorated, dying on April 13.
Janet Ann Whittle, 88, died six days after she was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth hospital with a hip fracture after falling from a chair at Oakview Care Home in Overfield Road, Birmingham. Soon after undergoing surgery she developed a chest infection and tested positive for Covid-19, dying on March 29.
Anthony Richard Williams, 84 , a former factory worker, from Adelaide Tower, Shard End, was being treated in hospital for his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and was getting ready for discharge when he fell getting out of bed and fractured his hip. He later developed Covid-19 and died on April 20 at the Royal Orthapaedic Hospital in Northfield.
Robert Woodhouse, 53, a coach driver, from Oldbury, died after suffering with Covid-19 symptoms for several days.
His daughter’s tribute to Mr Woodhouse is here
He had been prescribed antibiotics twice by his GP following telephone consultations but called an ambulance on March 31 after becoming short of breath.
He suffered a cardiac arrest and died soon after, leaving a daughter and three grandchildren.
If you want to pay tribute to your loved one, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.