A judge. A member of the school board. A deputy showed inmates the way to the secure area. Toddlers. Infants.
At least 78 people were killed when a system of tornadoes tore through Western Kentucky over the weekend, leaving a path of destruction, hopelessness, and grief in its wake. In memory of those who have been lost, memorials and relief funds are being organized by friends, family, and even strangers.
The names of those who lost their lives in the storms that started on Friday night and continued through Saturday morning are being released by the authorities. As search and rescue operations continued in various regions of the state, it was anticipated that a clearer picture of the full scope of the damage caused by the tornadoes would emerge.
The following is what we know about those who perished as a result of the storms:
Victoria Smith; Nyssa, Niles, Nolynn, Nariah, and Steven Brown; Rachel Brown’s children
Of Bowling Green
The tornado that ripped through Bowling Green took the lives of seven members of the Brown family.
Nyssa Brown, who was 13 years old at the time, was located on Thursday close to the subdivision where she and her family had lived. Her parents, Steven and Rachel Brown (though her name on social media is listed as “Rachael”), 35 and 36, respectively; her siblings Nariah Brown, 16, Niles Brown, 4, and Nolynn Brown, whose age is not immediately known; and her grandmother, Victoria Smith, 64, were also found dead. Her name on social media is listed as “Rachael.”
The family had their home on the same street as the tragedy that took the lives of 12 people, including eight children and five relatives from another family. The survivors’ neighbors are inconsolable as they stand amidst the rubble, which includes the belongings of children.
Nyssa Brown is recalled by Timothy Venetta as a young girl who frequently drove her four-wheeler through his backyard when they were both younger.
Jennifer Venetta was interviewed by WZTV in Nashville, Tennessee, and said, “I can’t imagine a whole family just being gone in the blink of an eye.” According to the station, she and Timothy Venetta lived on the same street as the Brown family. This information was obtained from the neighborhood.
Rochelle Finkton mentioned that her sister Rachel Brown took pleasure in her role as a mother.
According to what Finkton said to WSMV-TV in Nashville, “I mean, she loved them kids to the moon.”
Ernest Morris Aiken
86 years old and from Dawson Springs
Ernie Aiken died near his home in Dawson Springs. According to his obituary, which was published by Beshear Funeral Home, he was born and raised in Vermont. He served in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne and was stationed at Fort Campbell.
Following his time spent in the military, Aiken completed his education at a trade school for mechanics in Gary, Indiana. He later moved to Kentucky. In Dawson Springs, he ran the business under the name Ernie’s Garage, which he owned.
In a tribute to his friend, Ernie Aiken, his colleague Joe Lovell wrote, “Ernie Aiken was a good man.” My entire family was cared for by him and he was a trusted friend to my father. If you need assistance, you could always count on him to come to your aid. Although he didn’t speak much, the things that he did say were always helpful. He was a man of few words. He will be remembered fondly by many.
In a tribute to Aiken, Nancy Son Menser wrote that she had known him since she was a teenager and that he was very close to her two brothers. Aiken was also very close to her. Every Saturday, from the beginning of their relationship until the day he passed away, he would pick up her brother Randy and take him out to breakfast. Her other brother, David, who worked in Aiken’s auto shop, looked up to Aiken as if he were a father figure.
Quite a few of his additional friends and family members also commented that he would go above and beyond for them. Sharon Jones described him in her writing as a “heck of a guy.”
The junior version of William ‘Bill’ Amey.
62, a resident of Frankfort
According to statements made by his relatives to the Frankfort State Journal, William “Bill” Amey Jr. will be remembered for his devotion to his family and his passion for the culinary arts.
During the storm that occurred early Saturday morning, Amey was driving to work in Frankfort when his vehicle was carried off the road.
The legislative staff in the Capitol Annex have fond memories of him because of his assistance in cleaning the building. Laura Goins, the spokeswoman for the House Republicans, told the State Journal that she and Amey would trade recipes whenever they saw each other in the Capitol. Amey is a member of the Republican Party.
87, a resident of Mayfield
According to the information found in Robert Baldree’s obituary, he worked as a pipefitter engineer and was a member of the First Baptist Church.
The condolences and memories of loved ones are pouring in on the tribute wall that is located on his online obituary site.
Judy Waggoner, Baldree’s sister, referred to him as “smart, loving, kind, and a gentle soul.” She said this about her brother.
According to what Waggoner wrote, “He would help anyone that needed it.” Because he was a Christian, I am confident that at this moment he is celebrating with his dearly departed loved ones in heaven.
Alisa, Elma, Alma, Selmir and Samantha Besic
Of Bowling Green
Five members of the Besic family were found to be among the confirmed dead in the Bowling Green area.
“We used to be a family of 21, but now there are only 16 of us,” stated Selveta Besic on Tuesday afternoon.
Alisa Besic, Selveta’s sister-in-law and a mother of three, as well as Alisa’s daughter Elma, who was seven years old, and Alisa’s baby girl Alma, all perished as a result of the storm. She has a son who is 2 years old whom she has abandoned.
The storm also claimed the lives of Selmer, who was six years old, and Samantha, who had not yet turned one year old.
In addition to Selveta’s two brothers, who each lost two children and their younger sister, who is 25 years old and is likely to be paralyzed, another four members of the Besic family are suffering from life-threatening injuries and are being treated at hospitals in Nashville, Tennessee. These include Selveta’s two brothers, who each lost two children.
Besic responded by saying, “We were just shocked.” “One minute you’re alive and just playing with them, and then the next 15 minutes they are gone,” the other person said.
65 years old and from Dawson Springs
Even after she retired, Jenny Bruce continued to provide services to the children of Dawson Springs for a total of four decades.
Bruce served as a member of the school board for the Dawson Springs Independent School District, which is a small district in Hopkins County with approximately 500 students.
According to a post that was made by the Kentucky School Boards Association, she worked for the majority of her time in the district as the finance director.
Bruce was described as “sweet, kind, and always ready to help,” according to a message sent by Sarah Kaegi, the finance officer for Murray Independent.
Bruce “always talked about her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and of course, her dog,” Kaegi said. “of course, she also talked about her dog.”
“She never failed to put on a cheerful expression. I want her family to know that her generosity and her leadership were felt far beyond the confines of Dawson Springs and that she will never be forgotten. I also want them to know that she will always be remembered.”
In recognition of Bruce’s stepdaughter at her place of employment, Citizens Bank of London, a fund to assist the Dawson Springs community has been established.
On Facebook, Brandy Wiser, Bruce’s stepdaughter, reflected on the loss of her stepmother by saying, “There are really no words to describe how much she meant to me.” “Although she was not my biological mother, she played the role of a mother figure in my life for more than half of my lifetime. Her heart was unlike any other I’d ever encountered in my life. She would truly go out of her way to help anyone at any time and would not think twice about it.
73, from the county of Caldwell
After a tornado destroyed his home in Caldwell County, Larry Burdon, who was 73 years old, passed away on his farm.
Courtesy Tim Burdon
Larry Burdon was killed when the two-story home in Caldwell County that he had constructed with his own hands was destroyed by a tornado on his farm.
Burdon, who is now retired from the pharmacy profession, lived in Lexington for the majority of his life but moved to Madisonville when he was getting close to retiring.
According to his brother Tim Burdon, who spoke with The Courier-Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, he built the house all by himself in his spare time while he and his wife stayed in a trailer on the property while he did it.
Tim said that his brother was always concerned about his health and that he made sure to eat properly, walk 10 miles a day, and regularly lift weights. Burdon was an avid outdoorsman who intended to complete his hike along the Appalachian Trail this spring after having already completed the first half of the trail.
Tim Burdon recalled that his father would often joke that he would live to be 120 years old. “After spending time in the city, he developed the characteristics of a country boy. During his retirement, he did nothing but whatever he pleased with his life.”
Larry was a humble man who revered God and possessed a high level of intelligence. He was very attached to his hens and would frequently share eggs with his neighbors. Tim remarked that his brother possessed a lot of creativity even when he was a child. As a young child, he constructed a radio and used it to have conversations with people from Japan.
When he cut the grass on the lawn, he started by driving a stake into the ground. Then, he attached the stake to a self-propelled mower in such a way that it would cut an even circle across the entire lawn. Sometimes he’d watch and laugh from inside the house as people driving by slowed down and got out of their cars to see what was going on. They were perplexed by what was going on.
Tim referred to his brother as “a good man and a good brother.” If he put his mind to it, he would accomplish whatever he set out to do.
As the tornado tore through the neighborhood, Burdon, his wife, his daughter, and their grandson were all forced to flee their home.
His wife had been buried under debris, and she was being treated at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center at the time of this writing. Neighbors rushed over to assist, wrapping the victims in blankets and providing whatever assistance they could muster. However, it took the authorities more than three hours to cut their way through the mangled trees so that ATVs could take the injured people out on stretchers.
Tim, who was at his brother’s house assessing the damage, said that “the devastation is unimaginable.” “The devastation is unimaginable,” He stated that in order to move the debris, heavy machinery such as bulldozers and backhoes will be required and that this will most likely take place after the holidays. A large number of people have assembled in order to assist the family. The recovery process for Larry’s wife could take several months, while his daughter and grandson only sustained minor injuries.
A verified GoFundMe account has been established in order to assist with financial need
Mayfield resident, age 21
Devin Burton and six of his coworkers, in addition to a deputy jailer who was present at the time, all perished while they were employed at a candle factory in Mayfield.
According to his obituary, he had only been employed at the factory for a short period of time. Prior to that, he held a position at McDonald’s.
His mother wrote on the website that was set up for his obituary, “Losing you is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.” “I think about you all the time. I promise that I will never stop fighting for you, baby and that I will never stop honoring your memory.
She continued, “I don’t (know) how I’m going to live in this world without you but I will see you again.”
A verified GoFundMe account has been established in order to assist with financial needs.
A man named Richard Carlisle
67 years old and from Dawson Springs
According to his obituary, Rick Carlisle enjoyed going to car shows and building customized vehicles to show off at those shows. “Friends he made showing cars” will be among those serving as honorary pallbearers at his funeral service.
According to his obituary, Carlisle retired in 2014 after spending his childhood in a number of different states as well as Japan.
In his spare time, he enjoyed going horseback riding and helping the people around him with their mechanical problems.
Donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund are being requested in lieu of traditional floral tributes by the deceased’s family.
It was Brian Crick.
43, a citizen of Bremen
According to a statement made by another judge, Brian Crick, who served as a judge for two counties in western Kentucky, was well-known for the sound judgment he displayed when it came to finding solutions to problems.
According to Circuit Judge Brian W. Wiggins, Crick served as a district judge for Muhlenberg and McLean counties, where he presided over criminal misdemeanor cases, traffic court proceedings, and cases involving juveniles.
Wiggins stated that although many of the defendants who appeared before him were not represented by attorneys, Crick “was very good about seeing to it that their rights were protected.” “He had an approach that was very grounded in common sense. In terms of how to approach cases and how to communicate with people, he had a very level head.
Crick lost his life when the storm struck the home he shared with his family in Muhlenberg County. According to Wiggins, the deceased man is survived by his wife and three children, none of whom sustained serious injuries. “[Crick] was the epitome of a devoted family man. He took a keen interest in the lives of his wife and children.” They were the most important thing in his eyes.”
47, a resident of Mayfield
When the tornado hit Mayfield, Graves County Deputy Jailer Robert Daniel was supervising inmates who were working at a candle factory there.
George Workman, the warden of the Graves County Jail, stated on Monday that Daniel had been focused on the inmates in his care when he was killed by the twister as it was wreaking havoc on the plant.
On Friday night, Daniel, 47, was serving as a supervisor for seven inmates who were participating in a brand-new work program at the factory. These inmates had only started their jobs three days earlier.
After the storm had passed, the inmates reported to the Workman’s deputies that Daniel was the one who literally pushed them all to safety, guiding them through a doorway and squeezing them up against a wall in the facility’s interior. According to Workman, the last inmate to pass through the door reported to the deputies that Daniel was behind him at one point and then disappeared without a trace.
“It takes a very special kind of person to be able to give up their own life for the sake of another person. However, he did it, and he was doing it for the reasons that should have been considered,” Workman said.
Workman stated that Daniel was able to save the lives of all seven of the inmates under his care. Two suffered broken legs.
Daniel is said to have been a native of the Mayfield area, which was severely impacted by the storm, according to a cousin named Mark Saxton Sr.
Saxton remarked that the individual “loved his community.” “He was a wonderful provider for his family. Everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him adored him. He is the kind of person you would want to have something in common with.
Davis, Judith Elaine Judith
83 years old, from Gilbertsville
According to the Marshall County Coroner Michael Gordon, who spoke to The Courier-Journal, Judith Elaine Davis passed away at her home due to natural causes, likely related to the stress that she experienced during the storm.
According to the obituary written about Davis and published by Collier Funeral Home, Davis and her husband Wes were formerly the owners of a restaurant in Benton called Catfish Kitchen.
In a tribute that he left online, Marty Darst, a customer at the restaurant, said that he had “many pleasant memories” of the times he visited the establishment and spoke with Davis and her husband.
Beverly Carter said this about Davis in an article that she wrote: “(She) just always had a smile and would brighten anyone’s day.”
In a tribute to Davis, Shiela Dunn, whose mother was employed by Davis for many years, stated that Davis was a wonderful person.
She was survived by her sister, several nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews, as well as her husband of 65 years.
the third of Mayfield
On December 11, a tornado struck Mayfield, Kentucky, where Jha’lil Dunbar lived, taking his life. He was only three years old.
Destiny Lashea Jackson’s courtesy is being requested.
According to his aunt, Destiny Lashea Jackson, Jha’lil enjoyed watching videos on his tablet, playing with Nerf guns, doing flips, and watching Paw Patrol on television. He was also looking forward to attending preschool after celebrating his fourth birthday the following month.
His older brothers Damarion and Javion Noonan, as well as his sister Khaliyah Garnett, and his younger brother Julius Dunbar, who was one at the time, was his favorite playmates. Jackson shared that her nephew was incredibly kind, outgoing, and enthusiastic about attending daycare. He had a lot of love for both of his parents, William Dunbar and Huda Dubai.
Jackson claimed that every time he ate, he would say that whatever he was eating was “bussin’, bussin’,” which is a popular phrase on TikTok that indicates that something is delicious.
Jha’lil’s second cousin Alisha Weatherbee stated that both Jha’lil and Julius were at home with Alubahi when the storm began to approach. Because the three of them were unable to access the basement, they retreated to the bathroom on the first floor. During that time, Alubahi’s brother was present in the living room.
When the tornado struck, it blew the two-story house off its foundation and into the home next door, which was severely damaged as a result. The second floor collapsed and fell through to the first floor.
According to Weatherbee, Alubahi’s brother managed to get away from the wreckage and was able to find Alubahi and her children because he could hear Julius calling out for his mother and his siblings. She stated that it seemed as though the mother and her two sons had been trapped by the bathroom on the second floor of the house when it collapsed.
A verified GoFundMe account has been established in order to assist with financial needs.
Jeff Eckert and Jennifer ‘Lulu’ Nelson Eckert
Dawson Springs residents 70 and 69, respectively
Both Jeff Eckert and his wife Jennifer “Lulu” Nelson Eckert were killed in the incident that occurred in Dawson Springs.
According to his obituary, Jeff established a book publishing company in the town of Nokomis, Florida, in the year 1988. Between the years 1970 and 2000, he was a member of a number of different bands, all of which he enjoyed playing in.
According to her obituary, her grandchildren called her “Nonna” but she was known to them as “Lulu.” She spent 15 years working for an optometrist and loved to travel as well as organize parties and barbecues in her spare time
It was Mr. Matthew Ferguson.
a resident of Bremen
During the outbreak of tornadoes that ripped across Western Kentucky, Matthew Dale Ferguson, age 50, passed away in his home in Bremen.
Jenny Suttles Prewitt’s kind permission is requested.
Matthew Ferguson lost his life as well as his home and his two dogs, Leo and Chunk, in the tornadoes that occurred over the weekend. According to his cousin Jenny Prewitt and her husband, Matthew Prewitt, who spoke to The Courier-Journal, Ferguson was warm and friendly, but also reserved and down-to-earth, and he could connect with anyone.
According to Matthew Prewitt, “He was the type of person who would do anything in the world for anybody,” and that description fits him perfectly.
“Ever since the first time we met, he has treated me exactly as if I were a member of his own family… It leaves a pretty significant hole in the system.”
The genre of horror films was very important to Ferguson. He held Halloween parties, attended film conventions, and dabbled in the writing and directing of films in his spare time. According to Matthew, he had the intention of recreating the low-budget horror film “The Devil’s Playground,” which he shot in their grandmother’s house in the year 2010.
In Madisonville, Ferguson was employed as a driver for Carhartt, and in his spare time, he worked on automobiles. Jenny explained that ever since she had to say goodbye to her own father, she had intended to ask her cousin to “carry on the tradition” and instruct her son in the ways of automobiles, but she was unable to do so. She stated that Ferguson had a deep love for his family.
The only boy of four children, Ferguson is also the only one to have been born in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When he was a young boy, his sisters would tease him about “sending him back” to the Greenville hospital where he had been born whenever they passed by there. Several years ago, when Matthew and his family attended the funeral of a relative, they laughed about a photo of Ferguson with his older sisters from the 1970s. According to Matthew, the photo was taken during Ferguson’s “Davy Jones phase.” He was funny and could make people laugh easily.
Scottie and Meagan Flener
The Flener children, Scottie and Meagan
Both residents of Central City, aged 34
Both Scottie Flener and his wife, Meagan Flener, passed away while defending their three children inside of their home in Central City.
Sandra Flener, a relative on Scottie’s mother’s side, said about Scottie’s grandparents, “They were amazing people who would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it.”
According to their obituaries, they were survived by a large number of siblings and other members of their family, in addition to their three children, Landon, Elizabeth, and Kenni Lynn Lafollette.
Sandra stated that “they loved their family and friends with everything that they had in them.” They had a clever sense of humor and enjoyed spending time with the people who were closest to them.
In the year 2020, their daughter Thea Flener, who was only 3 years old, passed away.
Meagan was a stay-at-home mother while her husband Scottie ran his own roofing business.
Relative Sandi Flener wrote in a verified GoFundMe account that was established to cover expenses that her cousin Scottie and his wife Meagan were “two of the best people I’ve ever met.”
They were my family, and I will never get over the fact that they are gone.
Canela ‘Neila’ Mae Gaither
78 years old, from Gilbertsville
Canela “Neila” Mae Gaither passed away on Friday in the comfort of her own home.
Gaither, who was a member of the Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and worked for the Marshall County Preschool Headstart Program, was remembered by her friend Barbara Crouch in a tribute as a “fine, Christian, Southern lady full of spunk.” Barbara Crouch made this description of Gaither.
Gaither was a special lady who worked tirelessly advocating for the health and well-being of the families they served, according to Kim Scott, who worked with her at Headstart in the late 1990s. Scott said this in a tribute, describing Gaither as a “very special lady.”
According to what Scott wrote, “she was the sweetest person with a fun sense of humour.” Because she always spoke about them in such a loving and approving manner, I got the impression that I knew her family.
Another one of her former coworkers, Andrea Powell, stated in a letter that they had worked together for a total of seven years, of which they shared an office for three of those years.
Powell stated, “She was so precious… she left a wonderful legacy that will live on in the hearts of all who knew her.” “She left a wonderful legacy that will live on in the hearts of all who knew her,” Gaither has a daughter, a son, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild that he has left behind after his passing.
44, a resident of Mayfield
A friend of the family told The Courier-Journal that Derek Gilbert, who lived directly across the street from the candle factory, passed away while searching for a safe place to take shelter.
Katrina Spradling, who described Derek Gilbert as being similar to an uncle to her, said that Gilbert was a wonderful person and that being around him was always a lot of fun.
If he wasn’t the punch line himself, he made sure that someone else was. “If he wasn’t the butt of the joke, he made sure that someone else was.”
Bobby Wayne Spradling, Spradling’s father, was Gilbert’s longtime best friend and roommate. Spradling is named after Bobby Wayne Spradling. She claimed that there is not a single memory from her childhood that does not include him.
The night of the tornado, Gilbert finished his first day of work at Ruler Foods, which allowed employees to leave at 9 p.m. so that they could get to safety before the tornado was expected to hit at 9:30, according to statements made by Spradling, whose fiance also works at Ruler, to The Courier-Journal. Gilbert was a new hire at Ruler Foods.
Apparently, prior to that, he had been helping her father lay carpet, but an injury prevented him from continuing in that line of work, according to what she said.
Gilbert is the proud grandfather of five children’s offspring, including a daughter, two sons (one of whom survived the direct hit by the tornado at the candle factory), and five grandchildren.
The Gingerich family: Jacob, Emma, Marilyn, and Daniel
Graves County Districts Nos. 31, 31, 7, and 4
The tragedy that befell a single Amish family resulted in the attendance of mourners from a total of five different states and wreaked havoc on the local Amish community.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Jacob Gingerich was remembered by relatives and members of the community as an honest and hardworking man. Emma, who later became his wife, was known for her pleasant smile.
One of Jacob’s employees mentioned that the couple had moved to the area the previous year with the intention of constructing a house on the site of their former double-wide mobile home.
The couple leaves behind three children: a child who is 8 years old, a child who is 3 years old, and an infant.
Rita Ann Gish
74, a native of Bremen
Rita Ann Gish passed away within the comfort of her home in Bremen.
She was one of ten children and grew up in Muhlenberg County, where she had spent her entire life. According to the obituary that was published by Tucker Funeral Home, Gish worked in the cafeteria of a building in Bremen until she retired and was a member of the Neals Chapel General Baptist Church.
Her two sisters, two children, two stepchildren, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren are the only members of her family she leaves behind.
77, a resident of Mayfield
On the online obituary for Kathy Greem, her loved ones shared their memories of her as a selfless and compassionate friend who always put the needs of others before her own.
Greem was considered by Janice Riley to be one of the very best friends that she has ever had. According to what Riley wrote, the two conversed on Friday night. They had a “big time” planned for this week, which included going shopping, having lunch, and having a good time overall.
“I am completely heartbroken,” Riley stated next. “I just don’t comprehend why such a kind, loving, and beautiful Christian woman had to depart from this world.”
Marsha Hall and Carole Grisham are the authors.
Dawson Springs residents 80 and 72, respectively
Carole Grisham and Marsha Hall, two sisters who were both originally from Dawson Springs, passed away as a result of the tornado. According to CNN, the two people were discovered buried in the rubble a few houses down the street from where they lived even though they had taken shelter in a hallway.
At various times in their lives, both sisters were employed at the Beshear Funeral Home which is located in their hometown. Hall continued to be an essential member of the staff and had worked all day Friday up until a few hours before the storm was expected to arrive. According to the funeral president and owner Jenny Beshear Sewell, who was quoted in the Miami Herald, she met with families, handled organizational tasks, and carried out other duties related to the preparation of funerals.
According to Sewell, “Everyone just knew her, and between the two of us, really, we knew everybody.” “Whenever somebody would pass away, and maybe the name was familiar but they didn’t come up on my radar screen, I’d say, ‘Marsha, tell me the pedigree on this one.'” And she didn’t even have to tell me the names of one or two people before I figured out who it was. Also, I was exactly the same way.” According to Sewell, the arrangements have not yet been finalized, but a funeral service for both of the sisters is planned.
The love the sisters had for animals was another thing that made them famous. They had a dachshund named Smokey and three strays that they took in. It was discovered that three of the four pets had passed away.
“Everyone thought the world of them,” Jason Cummins, Hall’s son, told CNN with tears in his eyes. “Everyone thought the world of them.” They were the kindest, nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and they never stopped putting others’ needs ahead of their own.
60 years old and from Dawson Springs
According to a GoFundMe campaign established for Carl Hogan’s medical expenses, he was “a stone’s throw” away from his daughter’s house when a tornado struck Dawson Springs.
The description of the fund goes on to say that for “nearly 24 hours, Carl was missing without any clue as to his location for his daughters and grandchildren to start,” which is where they began looking for him.
According to the information provided in Hogan’s obituary, he took great pleasure in spending time with his four grandchildren.
Fishing, visiting Yellowstone National Park, and “his big jacked-up green truck” were among his other interests and hobbies.
Hogan is survived by his wife, his father, and both of his daughters. He also leaves behind his grandchildren.
Theresa Jayne Terry
67, of Russellville
Terry Jayne ran a prosperous floral business in Russellville known as Oak ‘n Ivy for more than 40 years.
In a post on his flower shop’s Facebook page, Oak ‘N Ivy wrote that Terry “was always so grateful and appreciative of all of his customers and continued support from the community throughout his years of owning Oak ‘N Ivy.” “Terry was always so grateful and appreciative of all of his customers and continued support from the community,” the post continued
Even though he was the third of four children, his daughter Erin Jayne Decker told The Courier-Journal that her father was modest and possessed a quiet strength that made him the natural caretaker of the family. Erin Jayne Decker is the oldest of the Decker children. Debbie was Jayne’s partner of 51 years, and they were married for 46 of those years. Debbie was Jayne’s, lifelong love.
Jayne was a longtime member of the Russellville United Methodist Temple, a former member of the Russellville Rotary Club, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout during her time there.
In 1966, he began his working career by delivering copies of The Courier-Journal newspaper. Ten years later, in 1976, he opened a flower and antique shop in the same location.
Reading, sailing his sunfish boat, watching thunderstorms, and University of Kentucky sports were some of Jayne’s favorite things. In 1861, when the Civil War first began, his great-great-grandfather William Jayne was one of the first governors of the state of Dakota and was appointed to that position by President Abraham Lincoln.
On the lake where he sailed, according to Decker, Jayne taught his children and all of his children’s friends how to water ski. Jayne also enjoyed spending time with his three grandchildren.
According to the Warren County Coroner, Jayne suffered a cardiac arrest while helping clean up after the storms that occurred over the weekend. She passed away on Saturday at The Medical Center at Bowling Green.
According to what was written in Terry’s obituary, “Terry was incredibly thoughtful and humble.” “You only needed to be around Terry for a few minutes in order to be moved by the kindness, generosity, and extraordinary love he had for his family,” said one person.
a period of two months, of Dawson Springs
As the storms approached Dawson Springs, Douglas Koon, his wife Jackie, and their three children huddled together in the bathroom of his mother-in-law. Jackie’s mother lived in the same house.
On Saturday, the parents reported that their infant daughter Oaklynn was doing fine and credited the fact that she had been secured in a car seat.
However, by Sunday, the infant was experiencing seizures, and when she was taken to the hospital, doctors discovered that she had a brain bleed. According to a post that Koon made on Facebook, her friends and family thought she had a stroke.
The family announced on their Facebook page early on Monday morning that their infant child had passed away.
Koon expressed his difficulty in “processing everything that I’m going through” in a message that he sent to the Associated Press via text message on Monday.
A member of Koon’s family has established a verified GoFundMe account for the benefit of Koon’s family and his mother-in-law, Sheila Rose, who recently experienced the loss of her home.
57 years old and from Cayce, Kentucky
Wade Lil passed away inside of his home in Cayce, which is located in Fulton County.
According to the obituary that was published at Hornbeak Funeral Chapel in Fulton, he was a native of Fayetteville, which is located in the state of North Carolina.
Holly Watson Lil, who has been married to Lil for twenty years, stated that her husband made an effort to be a good Christian and that he was a member of the Pentecostal church.
In Martin, Tennessee, where they manufacture various components for outdoor power equipment, he worked as a laser operator for MTD Products.
In addition to his sister Holly, Wade is survived by a number of nieces and nephews as well as other relatives.
Holly described him as “a wonderful compassionate man and a hard worker who never missed a day.” “He was a hard worker who never missed a day,” she said. “He never failed to look out for my best interests. Without him, life is going to be challenging.”
The Lipfords, Richard and Mildred “Millie” Richardson
69 and 72, originating from Dawson Springs
Richard Lipford and his wife Millie celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary this year.
According to his obituary, Richard was a veteran of the United States Air Force who enjoyed collecting guns, model airplanes, and “anything that had to do with history.” He also served in the Air Force.
According to her obituary, some of Millie’s favorite activities included crocheting, solving puzzles, and gardening.
Even though Millie was younger than her, her older sister Dot Black stated that Millie was the person she turned to for guidance.
In Millie’s online obituary, Black wrote, “She always had the right thing to say when you were facing problems in life.” Black was Millie’s husband.
“I love them both,” she said as she went on. “The depth of my love for them is unending.”
Sonya Kay McChesney
77 years old and from Dawson Springs
Sonya Kay McChesney was well-known for her strong faith and selfless acts of service to others in addition to her generous nature. According to the obituary that was published by the Beshear Funeral Home, her entire life was devoted to assisting other people, most notably her own family, as well as her friends and neighbors.
Dawson Springs is the place where McChesney was born; he later moved to Oregon and spent several years there before moving back to Dawson Springs in the 1970s. Prior to getting married to Tom Williamson, she held jobs at the Fox Lumber Co. in Nortonville and then at Ottenheimer & Co., first in the front office and then in the shipping departments respectively. During the 1990s, she and her second husband, John McChesney, were the proprietors of a local laundromat that they ran together.
McChesney was a pianist at the Dunn Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a member for a very long time and served as an elder. After she retired, she primarily centered her attention on spending time in Lexington and Ithaca, New York, with her offspring and grandchildren.
Bowling Green resident number 42
Say Meh was one of the 16 people who passed away over the weekend in Warren County as a result of injuries caused by the storm. According to the information provided by the coroner for Warren County, Meh passed away at the Medical Center at Bowling Green.
According to a verified GoFundMe page, Meh, a refugee from Burma, was in the process of studying to become a citizen of the United States. The page was created to support her family.
The GoFundMe page referred to Say Meh as someone who “loved life” and “never met a stranger.” Her charming smile and tireless spirit will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
The Millers, Billy, and Judy
73 and 72, from the county of Muhlenberg
According to Governor Andy Beshear, his uncle Ed Miller, who lives in Versailles, had two cousins who were killed when a tornado ripped through Muhlenberg County.
Miller, who traveled to Muhlenberg County on Tuesday with Beshear, stated that the members of his family who passed away were his first cousin Billy Miller and Billy Miller’s wife Judy Miller. They were farmers by trade and made their home in the Millport neighborhood.
“They were very close to me, in the sense that whenever I came back into the area, all of my brothers and sisters would take and spend a weekend with me when I came down here. This demonstrates how close we were.” According to Ed Miller, “everybody comes in to have a meal together and to socialize, cousins, come around, and I go back to the church I was raised in and everybody’s there.”
According to Billy and Judy’s granddaughter Haley Burton’s statement to the Washington Post, the couple had been married for 56 years.
She stated that both of them were discovered lying next to one another on their property in the vicinity of hard-hit Bremen.
52, a resident of Mayfield
In the last moments of Jill Monroe’s life, she was attempting to protect the safety of others.
Her coworkers at the Mayfield candle factory where she worked told her family that she assisted in directing people to an interior bathroom where they could seek shelter when it became apparent that a tornado was heading in the direction of the factory.
According to her sister Heather McGuffin, during that same time, she was sending family members back in Oldham County text messages to make sure they were monitoring the storms that were moving through Kentucky.
That’s the kind of person she was… Chris Chism, the woman’s son, told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that his mother “would have run out in front of the tornado to help save somebody else.”
Chism and his wife, Paige Tingle, were the ones who made the trip to Mayfield in the aftermath of the storm in order to investigate his mother’s and his “best friend’s” possible whereabouts. They eventually learned from the coroner of Graves County that she had passed away as a result of the storm.
Monroe is one of eight candle factory employees whose deaths have been confirmed as a result of the tornado that struck Mayfield on Friday. The town was completely leveled by the storm. Mayfield Consumer Products, the company that owns the factory, has stated that the other 102 people who were in the factory when the fire broke out have been found alive, but state officials have not confirmed this information.
According to Monroe’s family, she had been at the facility for no more than three or four months at the time. According to Chism, she moved to Mayfield in order to get a “fresh start” and to have the opportunity to connect with the community of her birth family. She was adopted when she was young and only recently discovered her biological family.
Chism and Tingle were able to pick up some of the Christmas present that Tingle had previously purchased for her family while they were in Mayfield. They will be found underneath the tree on Christmas morning, particularly the ones that are labeled “from Mimi” for the three children that belong to the couple.
Chism stated, “That is exactly what she would want.” “All that mattered on Christmas was watching her children tear open their presents,” she said.
Despite her best efforts, Monroe’s family will not be getting the most exciting holiday surprise she had in store for them.
According to what her coworkers told Chism, she was planning to relocate to Oldham County in time for Christmas Eve.
A verified GoFundMe account has been established in order to assist with financial needs.
This is Chase Oglesby.
The equivalent of five months in Bremen
When a tornado ripped through Bremen, Andrew and Charity Oglesby lost everything, but the most important thing to them was their only child, Chase.
According to a verified GoFundMe page set up by Zach Negulis, who is engaged to Andrew’s sister, “No person should ever have to go through the pain of this much loss in one night.”
According to GoFundMe, both Andrew and Charity have been injured as a result of the storm and are currently receiving medical treatment.
Negulis described the couple in his writing as “two of the most giving and loving people on this earth,” adding that they “would do anything for anyone.” Because they have now lost the thing that meant the most to them in the entire world, all of us, including them, are utterly devastated by what happened last night.
98, a resident of Eddyville
Square dancing, bowling, and quilting were some of Evelyn Ratay’s favorite activities. According to what was written in her obituary, she was known for making quilts for members of her family and donating any extras to hospitals and individuals in need in the community.
Earlier in her life, Ratay was employed by various dress factories in the capacity of a seamstress.
According to the information provided in her obituary, “her family loved being with her and enjoyed her happy attitude.”
Ollie Bright Reeves
80, a resident of Mayfield
According to her obituary, Ollie Bright Reeves worked at West KY Allied Service until the time of her retirement. Prior to that, she was employed at Curlee and Mayfield Manufacturing.
Additionally, Reeves was an active participant in the St. James A.M.E. Church community.
On the website for her obituary, “Ms. Ollie’s” friends and former coworkers shared their recollections of her.
According to Melissa Kelly wrote, “Ms. Ollie was such a special sweet soul.” “I never for one single second had to guess what she was going through in her head lol. The majority of the time, I was thinking exactly the same thing!
A. Scott Cory
27 years old, from Bowling Green
Cole Scott, pictured on the left, and his brother Cory Scott, pictured on the right. During the tornado outbreak that occurred in western Kentucky in December, Cory Scott was one of the 16 people who lost their lives in Warren County.
Thanks to Cole Scott’s generosity
Basketball and woodworking were two of Cory Scott’s favorite hobbies. He had a lot of hobbies, including working on cars and trucks, shooting guns, and listening to loud music.
An obituary posted on Facebook states that the resident of Bowling Green passed away on Saturday. As of Wednesday, there were a total of 16 people who had passed away in Warren County as a direct result of the storm. Scott was one of those people.
In the town of Rockfield, Scott was employed by Bluegrass Craftsmen as a contractor.
His family and his friends were the most important things in his life.
“He was someone I looked up to growing up, and one of the things I admired most about him was that he was such a resilient individual. According to his younger brother, Cole Scott, who spoke to The Courier-Journal about him, he was a selfless person who would do anything for anyone. “He would put an end to everything he was doing in order to bring you joy. He was like a hero to me.
When Cole was younger, he reportedly used to try to copy the way that Cory signed his name on his driver’s license. Cole expressed his desire to be exactly like his older brother, and he stated that he was considering getting a tattoo of Cory’s signature as a memorial to him.
Cole expressed his gratitude by saying, “He meant everything to me.”
The grin and laughs that Cory had, according to Cole, are things he will never forget.
“He illuminated the space,” he remarked.
A verified fundraising page on GoFundMe has been established in order to assist Scott’s family.
30 years old, Mayfield
According to a report in The Washington Post, Kayla Smith passed away while at the Mayfield candle factory holding the hand of her friend.
She had close relationships with virtually everyone who worked at the plant, including her partner of more than a decade, Justin Bobbett, who was the supervisor of the second shift.
Smith enjoyed joking around and acting goofy with her coworkers, even going so far as to detonate glitter bombs or transform their workspaces on occasion. Friends and coworkers told The Post that she was not only capable but also responsible and always there when someone else needed her help. They all had affection for her.
She was a huge fan of Christmas and got into the spirit of the season by decorating her home. She also never passed up an opportunity to visit Paducah’s famous holiday light show. Smith’s hometown is Fulton, and he works as a certified nursing assistant by trade.
According to her friend BJ Rowell, who spoke to The Post about the incident, “If there was one person that walked out of that building, I wanted it to be Kayla.”
Cheryl Snodgrass is referred to here.
52, from the county of Muhlenberg
Cheryl Snodgrass, 52 years old, lost her life in the tornado that struck Muhlenberg County in Kentucky.
Presented with permission from Ian Snodgrass
Kindness is something that will be remembered about Cheryl Snodgrass. According to what her son Ian Snodgrass told The Courier-Journal, she was the type of person who would welcome anyone who walked through the door of her house with open arms.
According to what Ian Snodgrass said, “If she was here today, if you said hi to her or if you were having a bad day, I guarantee you she would try to brighten your day.”
According to the Muhlenberg County coroner, Cheryl Snodgrass passed away in Muhlenberg County as a result of the storms that struck western Kentucky over the course of the weekend.
According to her son, she enjoyed reading and restoring damaged items such as furniture in her spare time.
According to Ian Snodgrass, one of his favorite memories with his mother is having a lengthy conversation with her in the house that they had just purchased.
He referred to her as a “unique and extraordinary” woman.
The junior version of Bobby Wayne Spradling
50, which is Mayfield
According to statements made by his daughter Katrina Spradling to The Courier-Journal, Bobby Wayne Spradling, who resided directly across the street from the Mayfield candle company, passed away while attempting to flee his house in search of safety. Throughout the day, she kept her father informed about the storm’s progress and asked him if he would take shelter at her house.
Katrina stated that none of them could comprehend the specific reasons why he did not leave. “He never failed to exercise extreme caution in stormy conditions. Because he could not be persuaded to change his mind, he made the decision to hold out until he saw how bad it could get.
Spradling, the owner of a flooring company, was a highly skilled and in-demand carpet layer who frequently traveled for his clients. He was in high demand. He was a talented handyman who would correct free of charge any flooring that had been improperly installed.
Bruce Spradling, who lived in Paducah, was Spradling’s son.
Nearby in the wreckage, about five feet away from him, the authorities discovered his roommate and longtime best friend, Derek Gilbert, who is 44 years old.
Katrina shared that her dad had a deep interest in learning new things and was particularly enthusiastic about the scientific and technological fields. She recalled many late nights spent discussing black holes and watching videos on YouTube until the wee hours of the morning. Katrina said that Spradling instilled in his children a love for the outdoors, particularly for camping and fishing, but that the demands of their jobs and the timing of their vacations have prevented them from going on trips in recent years.
In addition to that, he was a passionate gamer who enjoyed playing old favorites such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Halo.
She said, “Some of the best times I can remember were get-togethers on Friday nights where friends and family would all come down and bring Xboxes and TVs.” “Some of the best times I can remember were get-togethers on Friday nights.” It could be anywhere from ten to sixteen people all playing at once.
“He had one of the best senses of humor I’ve ever seen. If he wasn’t trying to help someone out, he was trying his best to make someone laugh.
the 62nd year of Moorman
Moorman resident Diane Varney, 62, passed away after a tornado destroyed her daughter’s house, which was the only safe place she could find to take shelter.
With thanks to Ricky Beckman
Ms. Di, also known as Diane Varney, passed away over the weekend in the house that she shared with her daughter in Moorman. According to what her son Ricky Beckman told The Courier-Journal, she spent 15 years working at the Burger King in Central City, where she rose through the ranks to become a team leader and was beloved by both the management and the staff and customers alike.
“My mom was cherished by everyone who was fortunate enough to know her,” he said.
“It wasn’t until yesterday’s funeral that I realized how much her community cared for her,” the speaker said.
According to Beckman, his mother had a generous spirit and would help anyone in need, even if it meant giving up her last penny or the shirt off her back. Beckman’s mother had a heart of gold.
In 1998, Varney relocated her two children, Beckman and Jenny Shemwell, from Chicago to Muhlenberg County in Kentucky so that they could spend less time in the big city. According to Beckman, she lived for her grandchildren, Ava Shemwell, age 11, Asher Shemwell, age 8, and Abram Shemwell, age 4.
“As long as she had her Sonomas (cigarettes), Monster drinks, and her grandbabies,” he said, “her hobbies consisted of being a couch potato.”
Beckman, who entered treatment in March, has stated that he intends to remain clean and sober in order to honor his mother.
“All she wanted was for me to behave myself,” he explained. It is not necessary for you to return to that way of life just because something negative has happened to you. She wouldn’t want me to revert to the previous version of myself.
In order to cover the costs associated with Varney’s funeral, her family has established a legitimate GoFundMe page.
Joe Marshall Ward was the man.
36, a resident of Mayfield
Joe Marshall Ward, who worked as a line leader at the candle factory in Mayfield, passed away after the tornado struck on Friday night. Autumn Kirks, who was also employed at the factory, was the one who made the discovery that he had vanished without a trace. According to statements made by Kirks to the Associated Press, the couple was putting money aside in order to jointly purchase a home. She referred to him as a “big teddy bear” in her description.
According to an obituary that was published in the Paducah Sun, Ward was survived by his mother, his brother, and five sons in addition to the two daughters that he had.