Beloved Detroit community leader Marlowe Stoudamire dies after contracting coronavirus

Posted at 10:46 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 05:59:16-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The coronavirus is hitting close to home at Henry Ford Hospital. Staff say they are in shock and disbelief as friend and former colleague Marlowe Stoudamire died after contracting COVID-19.

The hospital says this should serve as a warning: don’t take this virus lightly.

"It’s just a very, very sad day," said close friend and mentor Rob Riney, who also serves as President of health care operations and COO for Henry Ford Health System.

Marlowe Stoudamire was a staple in the community. He was behind the Detroit 67 project. Our Carolyn Clifford and Chuck Stokes talked to him during a town hall.

He was leader who inspired. A person who always saw what was best and had a positive outlook.

"Marlowe was just a light to the city, a light to the region, a light in the time he spent with Henry Ford Health System," said Riney.

Those who knew Marlowe say his ideas and vision to make something better was a quality unlike no other.

"Things he touched he really made sure they were going to exceed expectations and they were going to be something beyond what people could imagine," said Riney.

Stoudamire was just 43-years-old. He was a father to two young children, and a loving husband.

"We are mourning his loss and this is a case where COVID-19 took a 43-year-old with no underlying health conditions, that had not traveled anywhere," said Riney.

Doctors say his death has left them looking for answers and say no one is immune to the virus.

"Diseases like COVID-19 are affecting all the sickness of the population and that social distancing, that some find a nuisance, they should consider it their obligation," said Riney.

Henry Ford Hospital will continue to help patients fight this deadly virus. Doctors say if we work hard together, we as a community will overcome this once and for all.

"Even in this terrible time, there can be some amazing lessons that we learn and that we grow stronger as a community and I can’t think of a better gift that Marlowe would like to see than that," said Riney.

Folks at Henry Ford Hospital say they are in close contact with Stoudamire's family and will set up a Facebook page within the next 24 hours where people can write their condolences.

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