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Beloved East Texas correctional officer dies from COVID-19

The TDCJ has had 66 employees who have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

RUSK, Texas — The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is grieving the loss of an East Texas employee to COVID-19.

According to the TDCJ, Connell Foreman, 59, a Correctional Officer V at the Skyview Unit in Rusk, died Saturday.

The TDCJ reports Officer Foreman was tested on Aug. 30, at the Skyview/Hodge Unit and subsequently tested positive. She was admitted to the hospital due to complications from COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator on Sept. 8. Her condition deteriorated and she passed away.

“Officer Foreman was a dedicated employee of TDCJ and her service will never be forgotten,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “She was an asset to the agency and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to her family, friends, and co-workers at the Skyview Unit.”

Officer Foreman had a total of 39 years of service as a state of Texas employee. She worked at the Rusk State Hospital for 23 years. She began her TDCJ career on August 11, 2005, and was assigned to the Hodge Unit. She retired on July 31, 2013, from the Skyview Unit and was rehired on March 10, 2014. 

"Mrs. Foreman was loved by her family at TDCJ," Skyview Unit Senior Warden Larry Berger said. "She was often assigned to the Skyview 4 Building Desk and would greet each visitor with a smile and a warm welcome.” 

He added that she had a motherly demeanor, a genuine spirit and cared deeply for her co-workers. He concluded by saying “she loved her job and considered those she worked with as family.”

The TDCJ has had 66 employees who have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.