At least 74 dead in Kentucky tornadoes; Biden to visit this week

Credit…William Widmer for The New York Times

Days after a series of tornadoes killed dozens of people in six states, the emotional toll of the devastation also crossed state borders as friends, families and colleagues mourned their loved ones. There was a loving father, who adored his grandchildren, in Illinois where at least six people died in an Amazon warehouse. A young mother leaves behind a 2 year old child. And a Sunday school lost a beloved teacher who passed away in Kentucky.

Kevin dickey

Kevin Dickey was among those who died when a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Ill. On Friday. Her daughter, Kristen Anastasi, has many memories of her father, but there is one she cherishes the most: the image of her father every time they go their separate ways, showing her the sign “I will” likes “in American Sign Language: index finger up, middle finger folded, and thumb outward.

He would hold the post for as long as they were still in sight, even while one of them was walking away, she said.

“In a rural area, it can be a long time,” Ms Anastasi, now 42, said in an interview on Monday.

It was a sign of love that endured from childhood, even though, she said laughing through tears, no one in the family was deaf. The last time she saw him show her the “I love you” gesture was Thanksgiving. “At 42, it was still happening,” she said.

The family said in a statement they were “devastated”.

“Dad often spoke about his colleagues and their daily stories, he had a very strong bond with a lot,” the statement said. “He stole the show and the hearts of his grandchildren every time he was around.”

Mr. Dickey, who grew up in Wayne City and lived in Carlyle, both east of St. Louis, worked as a dispatcher. He was trying to get the drivers to safety when he was caught in the violence of the tornado that destroyed the warehouse, Ms Anastasi said.

“All these years, my 42 years of life, he has been extremely proud of me and my brothers,” Ms. Anastasi said. “Now we can live the rest of our lives extremely proud of him. “

“He deserved a little longer,” she said.

Janine Williams

When Darryl Johnson got the message from his niece that his younger sister, Janine Williams, was working at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory when she was devastated by a tornado, he got there as fast as he did. could.

Intermittent cell service made his car’s GPS unreliable. As he approached Mayfield, Ky., He began to follow a helicopter he assumed was heading towards the center of the crisis. When the helicopter stopped, he knew he was in the right place.

“It smelled like perfume or like someone broke a big box of incense and I was like, ‘I’m in the right place, it smells like candles,'” he said.

He and his brother-in-law started looking for Ms Williams in the rubble, but could not find her. His death was confirmed by the local coroner’s office on Sunday. She was 50 years old.

Hours before her shift at the factory, Williams was with two of her grandchildren, who called her “nanny.” Mr Johnson said Ms Williams was close to her grandchildren and “they couldn’t do anything wrong in her eyes”.

Mr Johnson said he and those who knew his sister best will remember she was “seriously funny” and could take a joke.

Ms Williams’ husband Ivy Williams and daughter Tamara Williams both previously worked at the Mayfield Candle Factory. Mr Johnson said he was frustrated his sister had to work Friday night as there had been several warnings throughout the week that storms would hit the area.

“I know my sister’s worth, it was more than a candle, and you can’t put a candle on her,” Mr Johnson said. “I will burn a candle at the funeral, but a candle that comes from this factory will not be burned at my sister’s funeral.”

Brian crick

Brian Crick, district judge for Muhlenberg and McLean counties, died on Saturday in Bremen, Ky., The state with the highest number of casualties. He was 43 years old.

Judge Crick’s wife Amanda and two of their children were treated for minor injuries after the tornadoes. Her youngest child was not at home when the storms hit.

Credit…Kentucky Administrative Office of Courts, via Associated Press

Judge Crick was an elder and Sunday School teacher at the Sacramento Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, Ky. At church, Judge Crick still played with all the children and was considered their honorary uncle, said Dana Brantley, a close friend of the Crick family.

“He always had a child upside down, tossing it in the air,” Ms. Brantley said. “He was a devout Christian and father of a family. If something like this happened to someone else, he would have led the cleanup, he would have put on his work gloves, be digging in the rubble, with his saw to help him. It’s just who he was.

A huge fan of the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team, Judge Crick was known as Big Blue Nation’s biggest fan, Brantley said.

“He lived and breathed Wildcat basketball,” she said.

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