The eldest brother of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren died of COVID-19 complications earlier this week in Norman, according to a tweet by Warren today.
Don Reed Herring, 86, had been sick with the virus for several weeks, according to a report in the Tulsa World. He died Tuesday.
Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma and attended Northwest Classen High School, in Oklahoma City, spoke often of her three brothers during her 2020 presidential bid.
In a series of tweets today announcing his death Warren remembered her brother as someone people wanted to be around.
What made him extra special was his smile—quick and crooked, it always seemed to generate its own light, one that lit up everyone around him. pic.twitter.com/SFMOaBVCN3
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 23, 2020
Herring attended the University of Oklahoma before enlisting with the Air Force at age 19. As a pilot, he flew nearly 300 combat missions in Vietnam on B-47 and B-52 bombers, according to a report in the Boston Globe. He later went into private business in central Oklahoma.
Warren has two more brothers, who also served in the military and reside in central Oklahoma. All three appeared in a campaign ad for the senator earlier this year.
Warren also thanked those who cared for her brother during his illness.
“I’m grateful to the nurses and frontline staff who took care of him, but it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say ‘I love you’ one more time—and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close. I’ll miss you dearly my brother,” Warren wrote in a Tweet.
Since the novel coronavirus pandemic began, 3,017 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Oklahoma, and 179 have died of the virus as of early Thursday afternoon.
Before his death, Herring lived with his wife, Judith Anne Hart, in Newcastle, Oklahoma.