55-year-old Tulsa Christian becomes Oklahoma's first coronavirus death

by Bryan Brammer · Mar 21st, 2020 11:49 am
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United States Obituary Notice

A Tulsa man, who was characterized as being in great health with no underlying medical issues, became the first person to die of coronavirus in Oklahoma.

Merle Dry, 55, passed away Wednesday evening, just one day after he tested positive for COVID-19, according to Tulsa Health officials.

Don Martin, longtime friend and senior pastor at Metro Pentecostal Church, said Dry was heavily involved in the church and quite healthy. He also revealed that Dry's symptoms came on quickly.

"All we know is he had a cold. He didn't even go into ER until Sunday because he was having trouble breathing. And he wasn't diagnosed with the virus until Tuesday, and he passed away the next day, this past Wednesday," Pastor Martin recalled.

The director of the Tulsa Health Department informed Dry's family that a funeral would not be permissible since the family will be quarantined for 14 days and it would be in violation of the government order to restrict gatherings to 10 people or less.


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