The sister of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser died on Wednesday from complications related to Covid-19, the same day the city passed 1,000 deaths from the disease.
“Mercia was loved immensely and will be missed greatly, as she joins the legion of angels who have gone home too soon due to the pandemic,” Bowser wrote in a statement.
Mercia Bowser was the mayor’s only sister. She died just short of her 65th birthday.
The statement came as the mayor declared Wednesday a day of remembrance for the more than 500,000 Americans and 1,000 D.C. residents who had died from the disease. The city announced that it had passed 1,000 deaths on Wednesday.
Bowser ordered flags to fly at half-staff and encouraged houses of worship to honor those who died in the pandemic on Wednesday evening.
“These beautiful souls who passed were grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, neighbors, classmates, colleagues, friends and loved ones,” Bowser said in a statement announcing the day of remembrance. “This tragic milestone is a reminder that this pandemic has forever changed families and communities.”
Muriel Bowser’s fellow DMV leaders expressed their sympathies to the family Wednesday afternoon.
“The First Lady and I extend our heartfelt condolences to Mayor @MurielBowser and her entire family as they mourn the passing of her sister Mercia,” tweeted Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
“Pam and I send our condolences to Mayor Bowser as she mourns the passing of her beloved sister. I pray that the Bowser family, and all those who have suffered a loss during this pandemic, find comfort and strength in the memories of their loved ones,” tweeted Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
Mercia Bowser had previously worked for Catholic Charities and the D.C. Office on Aging, focusing her work on children, the elderly and those with behavioral disorders, the mayor said in her statement.