Man remembers father killed in Henryville tornado

Wayne Hunter died while protecting his wife from Friday's tornado.

A man is sharing the story of his father's heroic death in Friday's tornadoes in Henryville.

Rodney Hunter told Eyewitness News his father, Wayne, covered his wife, Lenora, to protect her from the storm as it roared through the Clark County town. Wayne Hunter, 62, died in the storm, while his wife survived.

"They were watching the tornado come through. They realized it was coming at them. They went into the central room of the house, safest place, exactly where we always think you should be, covered themselves with a blanket and then it hit, kind of the brunt of the storm hit right on their right on them and kind of drug them, threw them out of the house and mom made it, dad didn't," Rodney Hunter said.

The couple was together in the end.

"They were together, yeah. They watched it come, they got under a blanket together, held onto each other and said they loved each other right before, right before it hit. So, you know, you can't really ask for more than that in the grand scheme of things," Hunter said. "And you've gotta start looking for stuff that's positive in things like this. The fact that they got to say that before the end, the fact they got to be together, the fact that he had a great day the day before, it's just, you look for a lot of positives in times like this and I think that's what we're doing a lot of right now because there's not a lot."

Lenora Hunter, 59, was released from the hospital Sunday. Support is coming from all directions, her son said.

"Friends, family, strangers, a lot of people from my mom's church, Blue Lick Christian Church, have come out and taken care of a lot of things for us. Perfect strangers coming by and bringing food, bringing water, bringing, they said they were gonna bring some port-o-pots, so that people can use the restroom," Rodney Hunter said. "Lots of family have come from Indianapolis. They've come from Cincinnati, come to help clean up, dig through the rubble, find what there is, so it's been a real group effort and it's been real touching for the family, and it's meant a lot to us that, not just our family, not just our friends, but the whole community has come together behind the fatality from Henryville and has pulled together to really help us out and I know my mom appreciates it and we do, too. 

"We're trying to get enough things to provide a sense of normalcy for her. As things move forward, it's going to be a hard few months for her as we move forward, so we just wanna, we want to make it easier for her and I think that's what everybody here wants. They want to support her. They want to make sure that she's okay."

Two days after the deadly storm, Rodney took a moment to reflect on his father's life.

"He was great. He loved nature. He loved people. He was a nurse for a long time and became a nurse in his 50s. He worked at the emergency room at Clark Memorial for about 20 years. He worked at a few nursing homes later, but when he was 52 or 53, they offered to send him to nursing school and he went. He was top of his class, became a nurse, absolutely loved it," Hunter said. "He was always helping people in the community. People loved it when they showed up in the ER and he was there. He was making jokes he was making their lives better in their darkest time and I kind of think about that. It makes me proud. It makes me happy that, you know, that's how people remember him. Every story that people tell, when they show up here, ‘Hey, I've known your dad for 25 years. I've known your dad for 30 years,' the stories start out with a smile and a laugh because that's who he was. That's what's good."