SCHENECTADY – Regina ‘Gina’ Dix-Parsons always had an encouraging word for people and could sing like nobody’s business, according to family and friends.
A few days after being admitted to Ellis Hospital last month, Regina Dix-Parsons, who comes from a deeply religious family in Schenectady, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and needed a ventilator to help her breathe, according to her daughter Wa’Kena Parsons-Jackson.
Her condition never improved.
Parsons-Jackson said at 5 p.m. Saturday, the doctor sent up a FaceTime call for the dying woman’s family to say goodbye.
Dix-Parsons, who would have turned 76 on April 18, passed away at 6:48 p.m. Saturday, her daughter said.
Parsons-Jackson said her mother worked in the infant room of the family day care center affiliated with Refreshing Spring Church, which was started by Dix-Parsons’ parents, the late Rev. Eugene and Georgetta Dix.
The church, which is pastored by Dix-Parsons’ sister, Arnetta Dix, is located on Georgetta Dix Plaza in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood in honor of the family matriarch.
Dix-Parsons loved children and to sing, and was a spiritual woman, said Parsons-Jackson. Dix-Parsons sang in several choirs and was a member of the Gospel Notes.
She said her mother was also a “fabulous cook” and that people to this day still ask about the recipe for her signature sweet potato pie dish.
Parsons-Jackson’s father, the Rev. Richard Parsons, recalled his ex-wife as a “great mother and a woman of God.”
“She was extremely friendly, she knew everybody, and was very pleasant and not argumentative at all,” said Parsons of Parsons Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ in Schenectady.
Married 36 years, the couple had three biological daughters and many more foster children they cared for, said Parsons.
Parsons-Jackson lamented that she and other relatives couldn’t be with her mother in her final moments.
“It’s disheartening that we live in the U.S. and we responded to this as if we were a third world country体彩app官方网站,” said Parsons-Jackson, 45. “There’s a lot of people losing their lives and they’re dying alone in there because family members can’t be by their bedside.”
She said the family can’t figure out how her mother, who lived with her, may have contracted the killer virus.
She recounted that in the days before she was hospitalized that they had attended a few church functions, a funeral, and ran some errands.
No one else in the family came down with COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus.
Wayne Jackson, who serve as the Sergeant at Arms in the State Assembly, said he has known Dix-Parsons and her family since he was about 10 years old.
He recalled with fondness how she always encouraged “you to live the life of Christ” and to sing. “We’ve sung in so many choirs together, said Jackson, 73.“She was just a great woman of God and we’re going to miss her.”
Schenectady City Councilwoman Marion Porterfield, who grew up in Refreshing Springs church, said Dix-Parsons always had a “kind word to say and always had a beautiful smile and was always made us feel welcome.”
A private graveside ceremony for family is scheduled for Friday. The family is hoping to hold a public celebration in honor of Dix-Parsons in the future.
Dix-Parsons is one of eight Schenectady County residents who had died of COVID-19. Statewide, blacks have been disproportionately impacted by the disease.
It’s a devastating trend that is playing out in many major American cities, including Chicago, New Orleans and Milwaukee.