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‘Larger than life:’ Long-time St. Bernard school board member dies shortly after COVID diagnosis

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 4:11 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2021 at 9:41 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Funeral arrangements are being made for a long-time St. Bernard Parish School Board member who died at her home after contracting COVID-19.

62-year-old Darleen Asevedo died Saturday, Aug. 14, while struggling with coronavirus. She was a 10-year member of the St Bernard Parish School Board.

Asevedo’s daughter Kortney wants her mother remembered as a fun-loving person who loved life.

“She definitely was larger than life,” Kortney says.

Kortney says her mother’s life was much more than the virus that made her final days a struggle.

“I don’t want her to be another statistic. I don’t want the headline to just say COVID,” Kortney said.

She says her mother was generous, had friends all over the world, and was active in the city’s music scene.

Darlene Asevedo
Darlene Asevedo(Family)

“She loved going to concerts, being with her friends,” Kortney says. “She would do anything for anybody.”

Kortney says her mother was diagnosed with the virus on Aug. 8. She then contracted pneumonia and passed away quickly just one week later.

“She was taking an inhaler and stuff and when she woke up Saturday morning on the fourteenth, she didn’t feel good and she called out to my sister. Before my sister got back, she either had a heart attack or blood clot,” said Kortney.

Kortney says her mother was not vaccinated and was taking ivermectin, which is not FDA approved for Covid treatment.

“Everybody has given me different information about what she should’ve been doing. Everybody is wrong,” said Kortney.

She says her family is stunned.

“She had no idea, if she had the slightest clue that this was a possibility she would’ve been in the hospital,” said Kortney.

Hospital space is tight across the state and was addressed by the state health officer at a legislative hearing.

“We are definitely in a critical situation but it’s not the physical beds it’s staff,” said state health officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter.

Several times, people opposed to mask mandates and vaccines interrupted the hearing.

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As residents continue to debate the virus and recommended treatments, health officers insist vaccines and masking are the most effective ways to curb the virus.

Kortney Asevedo hopes COVID-19 does not define who her mother was.

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“I don’t want her to be a poster child for anyone to go get the vaccine. I don’t want her to be remembered for that,” said Kortney.

Asevedo’s funeral is tentatively set for Friday, Aug. 20 at Charbonnet Funeral Home in Violet.

Asevedo is survived by her husband, two children, and three grandchildren.

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