Detroit police lieutenant, school board member reflect on loved ones lost to COVID-19

Detroit Police Capt. Jonathan Parnell died almost a year ago from COVID-19.

He was a 31-year veteran of the force when he died.

Detroit Police Capt. Jonathan Parnell

"His presence was intoxicating as a friend and as a leader," said Lt. Mark Young, with Detroit police. "He cared about the city, he cared about this department."

One year later, Young is reflecting on the life of Parnell and others taken by COVID-19, saying that even after his death Parnell raised awareness about the deadly virus.

Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a former state representative and Detroit schools board member, also reflected on losses endured.

"It’s been a very challenging year with all of the losses we’ve sustained in my family -- my sister, my stepfather, certainly all of my colleagues," she said.

Gay-Dagnogo lost her sister. She said her grief has changed her perspective.

Sherry Gay-Dagnogo and her sister

"Being grateful, grateful for each day, grateful that you wake up, grateful for another opportunity to do something good and to help someone else," she said. "The sun will shine again."