MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- The coronavirus pandemic is hitting home here in Southern Alabama with Mobile County now reporting its first death from the virus.

Friends and family are identifying that man as 66-year-old Wayman Henry.

Wayman Henry

Photo used with permission from Ruth Spicer

“We’re going to miss that laugh,” said Yvonne Matthews, Wayman Henry’s Friend. “We are going to miss one of the best guitarist you would ever know.”

On Friday, that music dimed. Henry dying after a week-long battle with COVID-19, the first in Mobile County.

“This is heartbreaking because he had so much to give and he was such a joy,” Matthews said. “You had to know Wayman, he lit up a room.”

Matthews has known Henry for years and is the Godmother of one of his sons’. She said he loved working with kids and was a mentor at the non-profit Youth on the Winning Side.

“He helped young kids learn to play the guitar, even if they didn’t know how,” she said. “If they had an interest he started them and we have a lot of guitarists because of Wayman.”

With the first death from COVID-19 in Mobile County, local leaders continue to ask for help to stop the spread.

“We don’t want another loss,” said Jerry Carl, a Mobile County Commissioner. “So, if you want to help us prevent that, stay at home, proper hygiene.”

As the grief and sadness sets in, Matthews believes they will live to play another song.

“I’m going to say Wayman play that guitar and when we get to heaven we’re going to jam,” she said.

According to the Mobile County Health Department, Wayman recently traveled out of state and had underlying medical conditions.

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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