Last year, 178 cases of West Nile virus were reported in Oklahoma, including 30 people from eight counties who died from the virus.
Under privacy laws, the state Health Department does not identify or confirm who died from West Nile virus. In the past year, The Oklahoman has interviewed family members and friends of some of the people who died.
William “Bill” Brady, 77, died in August at an Oklahoma City hospital after being treated for West Nile virus. Brady lived in Carter County, one of the hardest-hit Oklahoma counties for confirmed West Nile cases. Family members said Bill Brady was a hard worker who loved his family. He started Brady Welding in 1957 and later added a machine shop. He “retired” as president of the company in 2000 but continued to work at his office and also on his ranch.
Former Guthrie Mayor Jon G. Gumerson, 76, died from West Nile virus in October. Gumerson was the vice mayor of Guthrie from 1969 to 1971, and served as mayor from 1971 to 1973. A retired insurance salesman who had lived in the city since he was two years old, Gumerson ran again in 2001 and was mayor of the city until 2007. Gumerson taught Sunday school at his church for 50 years. He was also an avid Sooner fan and local businessman.
Doug Brecht, 62, former Oklahoma women's golf coach, died in October after a three-month battle with the West Nile virus. Brecht played college golf at OU in the early 1970s and coached women's golf at the school from 1982 to 1985. As an LPGA rules official, he was vigilant against slow play and penalized Morgan Pressel during the final of the Match Play Championship in May.
Contributing: The Associated Press