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Tornado Victim's Family Warns Of Severe Weather
KEOKUK COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) On Thursday the threat of severe weather was top of mind for an Eastern Iowa family who lost a loved one in our last round of severe storms.
An EF1 tornado traveled 44 miles on the ground, from Cosgrove in Johnson County, to just south of Kendrick, in Keokuk County on April 27th.
Angie Hanchett, 50, was outside on her farm when she was killed in Kinross.
Weather is so unpredictable, and I know my sister would not have been careless and gone outside if she knew it was severe weather, Hanchetts youngest sister, Rita said.
Hanchett had just put her truck away when a tornado hit. Debris from the tornado killed her.
My mom had called, and she had said, we lost Angie, and I didnt understand her at first and I kept saying, what? I dont handle change very well. I went kind of crazy, I was screaming and crying, Rita said.
Rita described Angie as one of her very best friends.
She was a nurse, and she was probably one of the best nurses that Ive ever known. She was a wonderful person, she loved her kids more than anything, her kids were her life, Rita said.
Angie was the proud mother of daughters, Alisha and Amanda. Rita said they were her sisters life.
Ritas husband, Dirk, is a pastor. He officiated the funeral.
Ive done quite a few funerals, but by far this was the most difficult one Ive ever done, because of the sudden loss here, it was very difficult, Dirk said.
But, with the couples pain comes faith that Angies death can prevent others from falling victim to severe weather.
I enjoy thunderstorms, I always have. A lot of times we would go outside as the sirens would go off. Wed just stand outside. Never in my wildest dreams did I think, I guess I took it so lightly, I never thought much of it, Rita said.
Now Ritas message is different.
The weather can change in the blink of an eye, if the sirens go off, take cover, have themselves a tornado kit ready. Even if its not a tornado, even if its just severe thunderstorms, take cover, because you never know when something like that could happen, Rita said.
They also hope Angies death will inspire how others live.
One of the things I actually said at the funeral was, we never know when the words we say to somebody could be the last words we speak to them. So treat the people in our lives as special as they really are, Dirk said.
43-year-old Pam Ledger was also killed when that tornado hit near Martinsburg, also in Keokuk County.
Pam was the proud mother of three daughters.