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Family mourns Covid-19 victim who loved to laugh and work

Even at 66, Denise Grenier of Buffalo liked to work.

Her son Robin said she was recruited years ago to be the officer manager for Amstar of Western New York, a painting company in Cheektowaga.

"She was really happy that at the age of 60 she was still a desirable employee," Robin said.

Denise Grenier loved Motown music, Marvin Gaye in particular, her son said. She loved her son, of course, and she loved her teacup poodle, Mr. T.

Her niece Dana Grenier Mancini said on Facebook that her aunt had a wonderful sense of humor.

"She could tell great stories about our family, her laugh always cracked me up," Mancini wrote. "She was the worst at family volleyball, but so was I and so was her son. So it was our thing."

During a family outing, someone recalled comedian Eddy Murphy's routine about his quirky relatives at a cookout and dubbed her "Aunt Bunny."

Robin Grenier lived in the South for many years but months ago he lost his job, moved back to Buffalo and settled in at his mother's house in Lovejoy.

"I'm happy that I got to spend these last months with her," he said.

During the week of March 16, Denise Grenier displayed the symptoms of a cold, but she was mostly lethargic. There was no fever or cough. By March 24 she was bed-ridden, and two days later her doctor prescribed an antibiotic, her son said.

On March 27, an ambulance took her to Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo. Soon after, she was placed on a ventilator at the facility set up by Catholic Health to focus on Covid-19 patients, the St. Joseph Campus of Sisters of Charity Hospital.

When a doctor called Robin Grenier to say nothing more could be done for her, he remembered what his mother told him years earlier when she imagined a situation like this: "Don't make me suffer."

She died Wednesday at the age of 66.

Her relatives have been processing their loss, each in their own way.

Then there's Mr. T, who was given a tough name because he weighed just 2 pounds when rescued years ago.

Mr. T, Grenier said, has been "very sad and depressed and is barely eating."

The story of Covid-19 is often told in numbers. On Sunday, it was told with names.

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