Wife of Clayton firefighter dies from COVID-19

CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- The wife of a Clayton firefighter died of complications from COVID-19 on Monday, according to a spokesperson from the town.

Alison Michaud Vessie, 53, was a Clayton real estate agent and a pastry chef who owned a bakery, the Plain Jane Baking Company. The Clayton spokesperson said Vessie died Monday morning as a funeral procession was underway for Deputy Chief Jason Dean, who died last week from COVID-19.

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Jason Dean was a 20-year veteran of the Clayton Fire Department and died after a month-long battle with COVID-19.

In August, 17 Clayton firefighters tested positive for COVID-19. Five of the firefighters and Vessie were hospitalized with severe complications. Currently, only one firefighter is still recovering from the disease and is in a rehabilitation facility.

The Clayton spokesperson said Vessie, who was born in Canada, was a "people person" who was an expert listener, working as a social worker for 15 years before becoming a real estate agent. She battled stage four cancer -- going through chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Vessie also volunteered with food pantries and animal rescue organizations, even rescuing three dogs of her own.

Vessie leaves behind her husband and daughter.

The Clayton spokesperson offered the following message from Vessie's family:

"Please, in honor of Alison, understand that this pandemic is not an issue of politics but one of public health and protecting each other," the spokesperson wrote. "Please continue to wear masks, socially distance, and wash your hands frequently. This family has seen how miserable COVID is to live through - in this case proving even more formidable than cancer - and they just don't want anyone else to experience the suffering and pain that Alison and their family have gone through."

No public services are currently planned for Vessie.
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