Food & Wine

Beloved 98-year-old grandma turned Facebook chef dies of coronavirus

Beloved 98-year-old grandma turned Facebook chef dies of coronavirus

Lucy Pollock is not the only person who turned to cooking and baking during the coronavirus lockdown.

However, she is one that stuck out after her videos, originally meant for friends and family, online began to gain traction and stick in the hearts of everyone watching her.

Over time, the beloved 98-year-old’s cooking show Baking With Lucy amassed over 40,000 followers.

Sadly though, the woman did not make it long enough to share any of her delicious Christmas recipes, passing away on Sunday after being diagnosed with coronavirus and suffering from a fatal lung infection.

As Lucy would say, " Happy Tuesday!!" Here is a beautiful photo of my mom and me at an art show Latrobe Art Center when...

Posted by Baking With Lucy on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Pennsylvania woman’s daughter Mary Ellen Raneri was the one who announced the sad news in a video shared to Pollock’s popular baking video page.

"The beautiful, lovely Lucy, talented woman and amazing mother, passed away last night at 3 in the morning," she explains in the video.

"It was very unexpected. It was due to a lung infection and also, she tested positive for COVID, so it's quite an eye-opener for us and for everybody.

"It's kind of ironic that what she struggled so hard to help people with eventually ended up hurting her."

Raneri was able to visit her mother prior to her death and sang You Are My Sunshine in their final moment together.

She closed her eyes, she looked really happy, and she was at peace," she said in the video.

Pollock brought joy to thousands in her humble kitchen, cooking up almost a century's worth of family recipes, baking dishes that had been passed down through generations, donated by friends, and taken from frayed, handwritten notes.

In mid-March, Raneri shared a photo on Facebook of her mother making cinnamon scrolls.

The pair were then encouraged to make "live videos" of themselves cooking up more dishes.

Raneri would often stand nearby and read out recipes while her mother baked due to her poor eyesight.

Pollock would bake while her husband Phil filmed her and the humble, family-friendly videos took off quickly – with Pollock earning worldwide recognition, an upcoming cookbook and a national television appearance on NBC's Today show,

"I can't believe that I'm sitting here on a Sunday morning doing this," Raneri said in the sad video.

"Because at this point we'd all be scurrying around, yelling at each other 'Who's going to get the flour?' and 'Where are we going to put it?' But life has twists and turns.

"I feel like my heart is breaking right now. But I wanted to tell everybody that I think right now she's in a really good place, and I'm going to go with that."

Pollock's cookbook will go ahead as planned.

"I don't think I knew how much I loved my mum until we started to do this project together," Raneri said of the cookbook.

"I loved her, but I don't think I knew how much I admired her. She was an amazing person."

Pollock will be buried in a private service on Friday.

The service will be live streamed at 11 a.m. on the Baking with Lucy Facebook page.