COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed that a man from the Maumee area is the first confirmed coronavirus death in the state, and he was someone the governor knew personally.
The man has been identified as Mark Wagoner, Sr., 76, according to state officials. The governor said he was an attorney from the Toledo area, as well as a husband, father and grandfather.
"When we hear about these deaths in other states and in Ohio, most of the time we don’t know that individual. It will be another number. It is important to remember each time we hear about new death to remember it's someone who was loved, lived their life and wanted to live longer," DeWine said on Friday during his daily coronavirus update.
"It was someone who Lt. Gov. Husted and I knew very well. He was very well respected by everyone who knew him. All of us extend our deepest sympathy," DeWine said before reading a verse from the 23rd Psalm. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.”
"The beginning of the Psalm is also well known," DeWine said. “‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.'"
"For a while it is going to seem like we are living in the ‘valley of the shadow.’ But we will get through this. The sun will come out and shine upon our state," he said.
The Wagoner family posted on Facebook: “We’re heartbroken but take comfort in the 76 years he had. What a life. Our Dad gave his all for his family, his community, his clients, and his colleagues. He had a boundless ability to love and always looked for the best in everyone he met. And he was funny, always quick with a joke and a reminder to never take ourselves too seriously."
As of Friday afternoon, there are currently 169 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state.
We have now entered a new phase of our battle with #COVID19. Yesterday, #Ohio had its first death from the #coronavirus. It was someone who @LtGovHusted and I knew very well. He was very well respected by everyone who knew him. All of us extend our deepest sympathy.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 20, 2020
Maumee is in Lucas County, which currently has only one confirmed positive COVID-19 case, which was first reported by ODH on March 16.