When a series of storms and tornadoes blasted through the tri-state area on April 27, 76 people lost their lives during the storm or in the days after due to storm-related events. Three students from Northeast Alabama died in Tuscaloosa, bringing the total deaths to 79 for Southeast Tennessee, Northeast Alabama and Northwest Georgia. Here is a brief glimpse of who those people were, provided by the families and friends who continue to grieve their loss two months after they died.
Elizabeth “Loretta” Bellos, 70, of Nashville, was in the process of moving to Graysville to live with her sister, Pat Thomposon. Both women were killed in the tornado. Loretta loved chocolate of any kind, particularly brownies, and she also loved red roses and her dog, Zorba. She was a medical assistant and enjoyed spending time and going shopping with her sisters. She had three children and two grandchildren who loved her dearly. Her strong faith helped her through difficult times and allowed her to teach others how to keep smiling through the sad times, family members said.
Patricia Lynette “Pat” Thompson, 64, was the mother of two daughters, grandmother of three and friend to all who knew her, family members said. She was a talented musician who played bass in the Chattanooga Symphony, sang in her church choir and enjoyed singing and directing cantatas. She retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority after 30-plus years and enjoyed traveling with her best friend and husband of 46 years, Bill. She also enjoyed working in the garden, sewing, crafts and woodwork.
Debbie Gibbs Fox, 43, was an avid lover of animals of all kinds who had horses, cats, dogs and koi. Her husband, Harold, died with her. The two enjoyed cooking out and spending time together in front of the fireplace.
Harold Hudson “Sonny-Boy” Fox, 39, who moved to Bledsoe County from Atlanta, had a “Georgia Bulldog attitude.” His wife of 11 years, Debbie, was the love of his life and died with him. Harold was a truck driver for La-Z-Boy Manufacturing Co. in Dayton, Tenn.
Eva Sue Huggins Catlett, 67, was a wife and mother to four sons and two daughters. She had six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was retired from Jackson Manufacturing Co..
Rhonda Smith Casteel, 33, loved her two boys. She also enjoyed dirt-track racing and going to the skate park. She worked at Zaxby’s in Cleveland.
Tommy Evans, 56, was working on restoring a Mercury Cougar before he was killed; working on old cars was his passion. He was a commercial driver for AutoZone. He had a son, a daughter and three grandchildren.
Chase Zion Glasgow, 3-month-old son of Michael and Kayci Glasgow, died in his aunt’s arms. He had three sisters.
Tammi Lynn Glasgow, 42, of Wisconsin, died while trying to shield her 3-month-old nephew, Chase, in her arms.
Evelyn Marie Johnson, 56, enjoyed gardening and caring for others. She was married, with children and grandchildren. She worked at Rhodes Storage in Ooltewah.
Robert Smith “Smitty” King, 77, died while trying to help his family during the storm. He served in the U.S. Army and retired as a truck driver for Tennessee Plywood. He leaves behind his wife, three daughters, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren
Lisa Pack, 42, was excited about becoming a first-time grandmother and loved to watch the Tennessee Volunteers play football. She was married and had two daughters.
Kandice “Kandy” Satterfield, 40, lived in the Blue Springs community. She was married and the mother of two sons and two daughters. She enjoyed working with crafts and sewing.
Adam Casey “Tex” Carroll, 17, was a student at Ringgold High School, where he played football and was on the wrestling team. He loved wearing cowboy hats and couldn’t wait to go to college. His grandmother, great-grandmother and cousin also were killed in the tornado.
Joshua Allen Poe, 31, had one daughter. He attended Apison Methodist Church and had worked for Hulloc. His grandmother, aunt and cousin died in the same home.
Brenda Kaye Prescott, 56, lived in Hamilton County all her life. Her mother, grandson and nephew all died in the tornado. When the tornado hit, she covered her younger grandson in the bathtub. He survived.
Donald Lee Christian, 70, was born and raised in Cow Hollow, in Bartley, W.Va., one of 13 children, before moving to Apison about 20 years ago. While living there he built a log cabin with the help of his teenage sons. He loved watching the Atlanta Braves and working in his garden. He died with his wife, Dorothy. He leaves behind children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.
Dorothy Lee Christian, 62, died with her husband, Donald. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Mai Yvonne Crumley, 41, left behind her husband and 9-year-old son. She had lived in Chattanooga 35 years and was the manager of Hallmark at Northgate Mall for more than 20 years.
Virginia Jo Hinton Jackson, 78, died with her husband, V.J., as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning after the April storms. She enjoyed volunteering at Sharon’s Adult Day Center, spending time with her family and church family. She had 19 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. She was a 1951 graduate of Howard High School.
V.J. Jackson, 81, was known as the “Walking Man,” walking five miles a day nearly every day for the last 20 years. He was well-known in his neighborhood and always waved to everyone who passed him. He grew vegetables to share with his large family. He worked at U.S. Pipe for 42 years. He also volunteered as church custodian and groundskeeper for many years at First Missionary Baptist Church of Avondale and volunteered at Sharon’s Adult Day Cente.
Mary “Sis” Elizabeth Hullander Raper, 60, never wanted to be separated from her husband, Bobby, the love of her live. The two died together. She lived in Hamilton County all her life and had two children and seven grandchildren.
The Rev. Bobby Ray “Bob” Raper, 63, loved to read and often carried a briefcase filled with books. He was the pastor of East View Chapel in Meigs County, ministered to inmates at Hamilton County Corrections Center and married hundreds of couples at the Ringgold Wedding Chapel.
JoAnn Darnell, 77, had three children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her daughter, grandson and great-grandson died with her.
Ronnie Doyle “Zach” Davis, 56, died after he was swept from a four-wheeler while crossing a swiftly rising creek. He worked in the coal mines in Grundy County for many years. He leaves behind his wife and four children.