Tribute vigil honors first COVID death in the region


SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The United Way is holding a vigil at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday to honor Walter Robb, considered the first person to die of COVID within the Capital Region.

It’s the one-year anniversary of Robb’s death. The longtime General Electric (GE) executive was known locally as a philanthropist. United Way of the Greater Capital Region (UWGCR) says that along with Robb, the Tribute Vigil will honor over 1,000 lives lost locally, people who have recovered, and heroic frontline workers.

D. Colin, a Troy-based artist and poet, will be on hand to recite an original poem, “What We Have Now,” about remembering, healing, and moving forward. UWGCR also worked with the Albany Center Galler to create a tribute mural, “Still Life, With Gratitude.”

Local artist Rachel Baxter created the mural, which will travel throughout the Capital Region until the end of next week, April 3. UWGCR says it’s available for public viewing from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and that visitors can write remembrances or words of encouragement to be worked into the piece.

GE is sponsoring the tribute at Congregation Gates of Heaven on Ashmore Avenue in Schenectady. Attendants must wear masks.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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