The mother of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has died from COVID-19 complications, bringing the pandemic close to home for a state official directly involved in fighting virus related scams and price gouging.
Ellison's mother, Clida, died March 26 from complications of the COVID-19 virus. She was 82.
Jeremiah Ellison, a Minneapolis city councilmember and the attorney general's son, wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece Wednesday that he learned last week that Clida Ellison had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
"And knowing that makes me angrier — as though she didn't truly pass but was snatched from us," Jeremiah Ellison wrote.
A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said Wednesday that Keith Ellison preferred his son to do the talking about Clida Ellison's death.
Clida Cora Martinez Ellison is survived by her husband, Leonard Ellison, Sr., and five sons, Leonard, Jr., Brian, Keith Ellison, Anthony and Eric; 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She grew up on a farm in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and an obituary produced by the family said that she took pride in her Creole Roots.
Clida Ellison earned a master's degree in social work at 57, after her husband suffered a debilitating stroke, and went on to work 20 years in the juvenile division of Michigan's Third Circuit Court.
Jeremiah Ellison, in his New York Times piece, described a surreal scene of a funeral service that would have been packed under most other circumstances but — owing to the spread of the coronavirus — spaced all in attendance six feet apart and in every other row, nearly everyone wearing face masks.
"Funerals have, all of a sudden, become tricky — dangerous even," wrote Ellison, who also warned of minority communities facing a disparate toll from the virus around the country. "Remembering the funeral, the absence of hugs, the absence of a full church and the absence of Nana, I pictured all the funerals happening — or being postponed — in New Orleans, Chicago, Milwaukee and elsewhere."