By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The U.S. recorded a grim milestone Monday with more than 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19.

In Minnesota, more than 6,400 people have lost their lives due to complications from COVID-19.

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We’ve been sharing some of their stories here with the hope it gives a face to the statistics.

(credit: CBS)

From brave veterans to volunteers, beloved grandmothers and generous business owners, WCCO looked back on some of the local faces lost this last year.

“You just make sure everybody else is healthy and stay safe. And that was our last conversation,” David McCawley’s daughter told us this past summer.

There has been heartbreak for families like the McCawleys. David was an 81-year-old who died in April at a nursing home ravaged by the virus.

And, for the loved ones of Terry Klante and Janet Nix.

Both of whom had successful procedures at Twin Cities hospitals this past spring only to die days later from COVID-19.

“By the fourth day he goes, ‘I can’t breathe at all, I gotta get back to the hospital’,” Ricky Klante, Terry’s son, said.

“I felt she was cheated,” the daughter of Janet Nix told us.

Minnesota has lost lifelong teachers like Bob Emary from Worthington.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: More Than 50% Of Seniors Have Received At Least 1 Vaccine Shot

“Being with people and educating people, that interaction, I think that that was a big motivator for him,” Emary’s daughter told us this winter.

A hall of fame high school football coach, Tony Thiel, who helped tiny Battle Lake win two state titles.

And, a woman considered the Betty White of her community because of Dorothy Hinrich’s special way of connecting with so many.

“She just loved knowing everybody in Big Lake,” Hinrich’s granddaughter told us.

There were the Minnesotans dedicated to service: Teddy Girard, a TSA worker at MSP.

Robert Strawberry, a chaplain for the Salvation Army.

Technical Sgt. Michael Morris, believed to the first active duty air force member to die from COVID complications.

It’s a year that has reminded us all of life’s fragility. And fundamental unfairness.

Matthew Schweer, 35, became one of the state’s most recent losses to COVID last month.

“I had to make the decision to pull him from the machine that day. We were the last family that we thought this would happen to,” his wife Cassidy Schweer said.

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If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19 and would like us to share their story, please e-mail us at

Liz Collin