US surpasses 100,000 lives lost to COVID-19, David Muir pays tribute

Family and friends with messages about loved ones lost.

May 28, 2020, 4:17 PM

When they learned their beloved coach Paul Loggan of North Central High School was battling coronavirus, students sent him messages, hoping their words of encouragement would help save him.

Loggan, the Indianapolis school's athletic director for more than 30 years as well as a father and husband, had been a towering, motivating figure for decades before he died on April 12 of COVID-19.

He is one of the more than 100,000 Americans who have died during this pandemic. The U.S. marked the grim milestone on Wednesday.

ABC News anchor David Muir paid special tribute to Loggan and several others on "World News Tonight."

In honor of Loggan, high school football stadiums across Indiana turned on their stadium lights at 7 p.m. April 13 to remember the man who'd encouraged students from all backgrounds to reach their potential.

"The one thing I want people to know about my dad is how he always put others first," Loggan's son Michael shared in a message to Muir on Wednesday. "And, he instilled ... that it's not always about us and to put others before us. He was just always someone who looked after the team ... and, I can't thank him enough for the childhood he gave us. And the legacy he left. We all have big shoes to fill for my brother, for my sister, for me. He left an impact that we are beyond proud of and he's always taught us that no matter the circumstances, always keep your head held high, move on with things and don't look back. I'm fortunate enough to call him Dad."

I can't thank him enough for the childhood he gave us. And the legacy he left.

Loggan's wife, Kathy, said that she'd watched him be active in the daily lives of every student-athlete in the high school.

"He was so hard on each and every one of them but at the end of the day or the end of the practice, he always had the biggest bear hug for them and told them how much he loved them," she said. "When it came to raising our children, it was the same way. He was so full of love and just a gentle giant in everything that he did."

Among some of the other victims honored during Wednesday's tribute on "World News Tonight" was Margit Feldman.

Feldman had survived the Holocaust by lying about her age to the Nazis at Auschwitz so they would believe she was old enough to qualify for forced labor, because the younger children often did not survive.

She survived and moved to the U.S., where she created a life and started a family.

Her son Joseph, in a message to Muir, said she'd made it part of her legacy to teach young people in the U.S. about the horror that played out at those concentration camps.

"I'd like everybody to remember my mom for her perseverance and dedication to genocide and Holocaust education. She relived her story time and time again for students and adults so the world will never forget the horrors of the Holocaust," he said.

Feldman, 90, died from coronavirus on April 14, according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

There was also U.S Army veteran Larry Rathgeb, who, during World War II, was part of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's honor guard and a mechanic in his motor pool.

PHOTO:  Larry Rathgeb passed away from coronavirus.
Larry Rathgeb passed away from coronavirus.
Courtesy Steve Lehto

Rathgeb later joined Chrysler and then NASCAR as an engineer. He led the team that built the first race car to reach 200 mph.

"My father, Larry Rathgeb, was an amazing man. He was very proud of his military career, he was proud of his NASCAR career, most of all he was proud of his family and his friends," his son Jeff told ABC News. "He was a great father, a true friend to everyone he met. He always said he would never be remembered but that's not true at all. Dad was a man of integrity who did extraordinary things. And he will truly be missed and always remembered."

Rathgeb died on March 22 at the age of 90.

Corliss Henry was the first black nurse on the staff at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1957. She later became a beloved teacher, one of her students said.

Rita Schlansky, in a video tribute she sent to Muir, said "Mrs. Henry" was her nursing instructor in the 1960s. Schlanksy said she still remembered Henry as a teacher who inspired her and so many students.

Henry died from the coronavirus on April 14 at the age of 95, The New York Times reported.

"Her wealth of knowledge, quiet presence and fairness were her strengths. She was an excellent and kind instructor who monitored my fellow students and me when we cared for patients in the hospital. She will be missed," Schlansky told Muir.

ABC News' Avery Miller contributed to the reporting in this story.

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