Two Lansing Correctional Facility employees who recently died from complications from COVID-19 were honored Thursday at the prison.
Corrections Supervisor I George Bernard Robare died May 11, and Corrections Supervisor I Fella Adebiyi died the following day.
On Thursday, LCF hosted a visitation service for family members of the two men. There also was a candlelight vigil.
“It’s a way for all of us to pull together and grieve,” Jeff Zmuda, secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections, told reporters Thursday.
Zmuda said Robare and Adebiyi had a combined service to the KDOC of about 55 years.
“Serving in corrections is a really challenging profession and it’s not for everybody,” he said.
LCF Warden Shannon Meyer said the fallen officers were mentors and friends to their fellow staff members. She said Robare and Adebiyi always jumped in and did whatever was asked of them without complaint.
“They deserve way more than what we can do tonight,” she said.
LCF has been a hot spot of COVID-19 cases.
As of Thursday afternoon, 96 staff members and 817 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. Four inmates who have tested positive for the virus have died.
Zmuda said he considers the deaths of Robare and Adebiyi to have been in the line of duty.
Meyer said the names of the two employees will be added to a memorial at the prison that honors staff members who have died in the line of duty.
Because of social distancing requirements, the visitation Thursday was a drive-through service. Members of the public were invited to drive through a parking lot of the prison, passing by family members of Robare and Adebiyi.
Members of area law enforcement agencies and fire departments also were on hand as well as members of patriotic motorcycle groups.
The visitation was followed by the candlelight vigil that was open only to the families and corrections staff.