Tennessee tornado kills couple married for 58 years, with the victims dying side-by-side – The Sun
A COUPLE who were married for 58 years died side-by-side in the tragic tornadoes that raged through Tennessee early Tuesday morning.
James and Donna Eaton were among at least 24 people who died after the twisters came raging though, tearing up homes in Nashville and other areas across the state.
After at least three tornadoes tore through Tennessee, James and Donna were found side-by-side on a mattress thrown from their bed.
"About as close as you can get," Mt. Juliet Police Department Capt. Tyler Chandler told USA Today.
Both native to East Nashville, the couple met when they were young kids and later married and had three children of their own.
They also had four children and six great-grandchildren.
"They exemplified what it was to love," the couple's grandson, Jake Hardy-Moore told ABC News.
He told USA Today his grandparents "showed Christ's love and his sacrifice," and were people the family could depend on.
"They both loved our families through challenging times of life," Hardy-Moore told USA Today.
"They were the ones we looked to when times were difficult, and they kept us pointed toward God and to be dependent on God," he added.
James — known as "Jimmy" — worked as a deacon, and Donna worked as a finance director at First Baptist Church Mt. Juliet, according to the couple's obituary.
The duo "both taught Sunday school classes over the past 43 years," the obituary said.
Jimmy and Donna were well-loved members of the church, Pastor Phillip Dunn told USA Today.
"To know them was to love them," Dunn said.
"They carried with them a happy spirit, and their love for their church family was a model to all of us," he told USA Today.
Dunn said the couple's death from the "storm shocks all of us."
"They were a true example of God’s love in their family, their marriage, the community of Mt. Juliet, and beyond," the obituary said.
"They were humble, kind and lived life fully. Whether they were on their daily walks, cheering on the Cincinnati Reds, Bunko or card night, church fellowship or supporting their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren through any activity they exemplified the love of God."
Communities were left devastated after the tornadoes early Tuesday morning, and hundreds are mourning over the lives of family and friends lost in the storm.
A toddler and four children were among those killed in the devastating storm.
Buildings were ravaged, leaving structures mere shells of their former selves.
The "supercell" tornadoes downed power lines, tore out windows, scattered debris, and snapped power lines.
Dramatic drone footage shows the extensive damage, including thousands of homes splintered by the "supercell" twisters.
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