Families, friends gather to honor Apison tornado victims
Janice and Warren Oliver always had been close to Janice's brother Donald Christian and his wife, Dorothy.
Donald loved to visit his sister and brother-in-law in Tennessee, and after some encouragement, he and Dorothy moved to Apison about 20 years ago.
"I'm almost sorry I asked him to move down here, but you never know how things are going to turn out," Warren Oliver said.
Donald and Dorothy Christian were killed in the tornadoes of April 27, 2011.
The Christians were just two of the 80 people who died when the storms cut a path of destruction through the tri-state region 17 months ago. The Apison-Cherokee Valley area was devastated, and 15 people lost their lives.
On Sunday, family and neighbors gathered to dedicate a monument to their lost loved ones.
Warren Oliver said Donald Christian had been on the phone with his son, who was warning him to get out of the area, when the tornado hit and the line went dead.
Warren and Janice believe that is the moment when Donald died.
In the aftermath, Warren offered to help clean up the Christians' splintered home, digging through the rubble and scraps of two people's lives to recover their remains for burial.
Read More. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)