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Families mourn the loss of 2 South Ga. teachers that died from COVID

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 9:46 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - In a matter of days, South Georgia lost some well known community members to COVID-19.

Brian Mainor and Rashida Kimmons were both teachers in different school districts who have left their marks on their communities.

Brian Mainor passed away Aug. 18 from COVID-19, he was a Lowndes County teacher.
Brian Mainor passed away Aug. 18 from COVID-19, he was a Lowndes County teacher.(Darlene Mainor)

Brian taught at Hahira Elementary School, loved by his family, school and students .

Brian’s sister-in-law, Lora Mainor, said he planned to retire after teaching for 29 years.

“We were all in shock. Our family is grieving and we thought he was getting better,” said Mainor.

Lora describes what happened on Aug. 18, telling us that he was admitted to the hospital exactly one week before with difficulty breathing and flu-like symptoms.

Lora said she would FaceTime him every day, but that Wednesday, he didn’t answer the phone.

“So I called his sister Darlene and said ‘Brian is not answering, we need to check on him and see what’s going on.’ She finally got a hold of him and said he was OK and then the doctor told us he was OK. He was improving, and then we got the call that he had passed away,” explained Lora.

It was a heartbreaking call that caught the family by surprise.

“We’ll always remember Brian. His memory will live in our hearts forever,” said Lora.

On Aug. 19, Rashida Kimmons passed away.

Rashida Kimmons passed away Aug. 19 from COVID-19, she was a Valdosta City Schools teacher.
Rashida Kimmons passed away Aug. 19 from COVID-19, she was a Valdosta City Schools teacher.(Adolphus Kimmons)

Rashida was a teacher at S.L. Mason Elementary School in Valdosta.

Her husband, Adolphus Kimmons, said she was loved by many. She was a mom, sister, wife and teacher.

“One of the last things she asked me was, ‘who has my kids?’ She went above and beyond when it came to her kids in school, she treated those kids in school and class like they were her own. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her children,” said Adolphus.

Adolphus said Rashida’s death was very sudden. He said they celebrated her birthday in July in Daytona and then things took a turn for the worst.

He said it’s going to take a long time to process, but he’ll honor her wishes and support their six children.

Adolphus has a very important message to share after going through this experience.

“Get regular check-ups, see a doctor, don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. And no, I don’t get out and hold signs to advocate for the vaccination but I do believe the vaccination helps and I do believe the vaccination works,” said Kimmons.

Neither of the two were vaccinated.

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