Annis Creese is the second educator at Northwestern High School and the third school employee to die from the novel coronavirus in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Creese, 72, was a Spanish teacher and planned to retire at the end of this semester. Last week she developed a cough she couldn’t get rid of and then was hospitalized for six days.
“She was the most giving person. Most selfless person I know,” said her daughter, Michelle Hyland. “She was Mama Creese. She had a loving spirit that set her apart from all other teachers.”
Creese grew up in poverty and was sent to live with relatives in Trinidad and Tobago. They discouraged her desire to learn by turning off the lights at night.
“She would light a candle and was told to blow the candle out and my mother kept going,” Hyland said.
Because of the danger of COVID-19 in hospitals, Creese’s family couldn’t visit her before she passed. They never got to say goodbye.
“At this point I’m just waiting to grieve. I can’t grieve right now,” Hyland said.
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Creese’s granddaughter, Annyssa Dozier, wanted students and fellow teachers at Northwestern to remember her grandmother fondly.
“I love her so much. She was my backbone. Keep her memory alive; that’s all I ask,” Dozier said.