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Each Oklahoma tornado victim had a story

BY RON JACKSON Modified: February 14, 2009 at 7:22 am •  Published: February 14, 2009
Living in today's 24-hour news cycle, where disaster strikes and lives are lost daily, human nature dictates that it's sometimes easier to view the victims in terms of statistics. But for those who knew them, the eight souls lost Tuesday night when a deadly tornado struck the Lone Grove/Ardmore area were much more than statistics. Each of the victims had individual passions and quirks that made them unique. Each had a family that loved them and now misses them dearly. And each of them had a story.

Susan Gail Fambrough

Age: 54

Residence: Lone Grove

Occupation: Homemaker

Story: “Gail” was known as a caring, independent woman who spent 15 years lovingly raising dogs. She adored her three daughters and five grandchildren and liked to entertain. When the tornado hit, she and her daughter, Kaylee, 13, were holding hands. Stephen McCord found the remains of his mother- and father-in-law 30 feet apart in a field of debris. Kaylee landed 300 feet from their trailer home, but survived with minor cuts and scratches. A trust fund has been established in her name at the First National Bank and Trust in Ardmore.

“They didn't care about worldly possessions and stuff,” said Danna McCord, Gail's oldest daughter. “That wasn't important to them.”

Funeral Services: Today at 2 p.m. at Faith Southern Baptist Church in Ardmore.

William Vincent Fambrough

Age: 48

Residence: Lone Grove

Occupation: Mechanic

Story: “Vince” spent six weeks in a coma in the aftermath of an automobile accident and never fully recovered from his injuries, said Danna McCord, his stepdaughter. Loved ones remember Vince for his ability to disarm strangers with his humor and wit. He loved people. Vince and his wife, Gail, were planning to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary today.

Funeral Services: Today at 2 p.m. at Faith Southern Baptist Church in Ardmore.

Trevor William Kelii Morgan

Age: 30

Residence: Lone Grove

Occupation: Fork lift driver

Story: Born in Hawaii, Trevor was given the Hawaiian name of Kelii. He lived most of his life in Oklahoma and worked as a forklift driver at the Dollar General Store distribution plant in Ardmore. Trevor graduated in 1996 from Lone Grove High School, where he played the tuba. He loved music and had an affinity for Elvis classics. Trevor lived with his friend, Jeremy Shorter, in a trailer home north of Lone Grove. Shorter and his girlfriend survived the tornado, which demolished their trailer. “He was always concerned about others — always,” said Melva Morgan, Trevor's 83-year-old grandmother from Healdton. “We sure are going to miss him.”

Funeral Services: Tuesday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Healdton

William Clinton Wheat Sr.

Age: 78

Residence: Lone Grove

Occupation: Retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant and tire factory worker

Story: Retired from the military in 1970 after 22 years, including tours in Vietnam, Korea, and Germany. “Bill” worked another 22 years for the Uniroyal tire factory in Ardmore. He loved to travel across the country, often stopping to collect antique barbed wire. He was an avid University of Oklahoma football fan and hunter who loved to fish on Lake Texoma for catfish. He was living in a rural brick home with his son, William Wheat Jr. and his daughter-in-law, Judy. The younger Wheat was critically injured when the tornado wiped their home to the slab, said Wheat Sr.'s daughter, Rhonda Wheat of Ward, Ark. “In later years, he enjoyed sitting out and watching birds,” Rhonda Wheat said. “He had hummingbird feeders all over the place.”

Funeral Services: Monday at Trinity Baptist Church in Ardmore

Donna Lee McGarvey

Age: 54

Residence: Lone Grove

Occupation: Retired from pharmaceutical company

Story: Everyone called her “Granny” despite her relatively young age, said her friend Steve Sparks of Ardmore. Edmond Tornado 911 calls has disabled the comments for this article.


Gov. Brad Henry is asking federal authorities to provide individual financial assistance for residents in three counties where tornadoes caused extensive damage. The request is for Carter, Logan and Oklahoma counties. More counties can be added if individual assistance is approved.



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