As of Monday afternoon, there were 23 people confirmed to have perished in the deadly tornado that ravaged Lee County, Alabama Sunday.
Four of the dead are children. And two families lost several members in the tragedy.
Search, rescue, and recovery efforts lasted through early Wednesday when authorities said all the missing had been found.
Some of the information about the victims in this story comes from families and social media. The Lee County coroner released all the names Tuesday afternoon, and as more information about each becomes available, this post will be updated.
A number of fundraisers have been created to help families pay for funeral costs. In those cases, it’s noted below.
Meanwhile, it was announced Tuesday night that two companies have said they will pay for the funeral costs for all the 23 victims, ages 6 to 89.
Here are the victims of the tornadoes in Lee County, Alabama:
Six-Year-Old Armando ‘AJ’ Hernandez
AJ’s aunt shared the heartbreaking news on Facebook.
On Sunday, in the immediate aftermath of the murderous cyclone, AJ’s mother Kayla Melton begged for help in locating her boy, who she had become separated from during the twister.
“Please look for my baby he’s 6 years old his name is Armando Hernandez he goes by AJ last seen on lee road 38. Anyone in the area please help me find him please!!!!!”
Thousands of people shared her post, but by later Sunday night, the small body was found.
Here’s the link to a GoFundMe to help Kayla Melton bury her baby.
Fourth Grader Taylor Thornton
From a GoFundMe was created to help Taylor’s parents Ashley and David Thornton pay for funeral costs for their daughter. The campaign sought to raise $15,000. In less than 10 hours, it’s nearing $30,000.
“Our dear friends, Ashley and David Thornton lost their precious daughter, Taylor in that storm. Words don’t even come close to imagining the pain they are enduring. Taylor was an amazing example of a child of God. She brought so much joy to all that knew her. She was loved dearly and will forever be missed.
Our hearts are mourning with you Ashley and David. You raised an amazing daughter that fulfilled her purpose on this earth and it now with her creator. This community loves you both, and baby McCrae so much and will continue to walk through this by your side.”
Mother & Grandmother 69-Year-Old Vicki Braswell
Vicki Braswell was with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren when the tornado ripped their home apart. The house was destroyed, the family lost everything, and everyone is suffering from serious injuries, but alive. Sadly, Vicki did not survive.
A GoFundMe for the family created by Vicki’s daughter-in-law Shannon Rush.
“Vicki was my mother in law and she was an amazing person …my heart is broken for my husband and sister-in-law as they plan the funeral of their mom.”
Couple Felicia Renee Woodall, 22, & Ryan Pence, Also 22
The families of couple Ryan Pence and Felicia Renee Woodall organized search parties. They asked people not to call their phones. They pleased for prayers. and then, when the young couple were found dead, they asked for privacy.
Felicia and Ryan were young and they were in love.
Dancer & ‘Angel’ 8-Year-Old Mykhala Waldon
Described by a large and loving family, and by people who never met Mykhala, as an angel, the
“My ♥️ is so broken right now!! Lord we need you! ?????,” wrote Tameika Waldon about her niece Mykhala, a beautiful, always-smiling daughter, sister, student and, what appeared to be her passion, dancer.
Her mother Tyesha and her two sisters were seriously injured but are alive. A GoFundMe has been set up for the family to bury Mykhala.
Beloved Son, 9-Year-Old Jonathan Marquez Bowen
Jonathan Bowen’s mother Shamel Hart tried to save her son. Now, she’s living “a mother’s worst nightmare.”
Hart created a GoFundMe for help to bury her child.
“The house we were in went up and the floors disappeared underneath us. One minute felt like hours. The tornado ripped our kids from under us without remorse. When I found my son I was trying to do everything to keep him with me. I tried my hardest to save him with the help of the most heroic people of Beauregard. A mother’s worst nightmare is to have to bury their child.”
His mother and family told local media that he was “a very sweet boy, very intelligent. He loved to ask Alexa questions. He’d say, Alexa, tell me all you can about the solar system.” Born with a “loving heart and inquisitive mind,” he loved “playing video games and watching gamers on YouTube. Jonathan liked working with numbers, attempting to dance and bringing joy to those around him.”
And tragically, as if the loss of her son was too much to bear, Mykhala was Shamel’s niece.
53-Year-Old David ‘Roaddog Daddy’ Dean
A selfless man. A loving and adoring husband. A father to his children and many other kids in need. He loved his motorcycle and he loved life. His daughter said if he was alive, he’d be the first one to help his neighbors.
The Jones & Robinson Families
According to the coroner and the below Facebook post, this family lost seven members.
They are: Jimmy Lee Jones, 89; Raymond Robinson Jr., 63; Mary Louise Jones, 83; Jimmy Lee Jones, 89; Tresia Robinson, 62 and Maggie Delight Robinson, 57.
Maggie was an RN at East Alabama Medical Center. She began working there when she was 17 and was soon set to celebrate 40 years in service helping care for people in her community.
The staff are grieving.
“Willie Lewis, a former EAMC employee of 15 years, and Maggie’s friend of 20 years said Maggie ‘was everyone’s friend, and she was easily my best friend.’ Lewis recalls speaking with Maggie about one hour before Sunday’s tornadoes. ‘We had discussed Galatians 6:9 about a week ago and she told me that verse appeared in her devotionals three or four times during the week. She also told me “I’m in a good place; God is first and foremost in my life.'”
The Stetson Family
Husband and wife, Henry, 65, and Florel, 63, and son Eric, 38.
Marshall Lynn Grimes, 59
Marshall’s friend Donna Adcox Dosier said, “Marshall Lynn Grimes was a childhood friend. We rode the school bus together, lived on the same road as each other for many years. He will forever be remembered and loved by many. Some I didn’t know but have family that were associated and loved. We here as a community are all family in Gods eyes and reach out to help those in need. Lee County will always be home, no matter the community we grow up in…”
Cruelly ironic, his last post was on Sunday morning saying he and his family were safe, sound and getting ready for the storm.
Here is Lynn with Sheila Creech, who also died in the tornado. She called Lynn her “honey.”
Sheila Creech, 59
A friend was saddened to learned that Sheila was among the victims.
Charlotte Ann Miller, 59
A GoFundMe has been created to help Charlotte’s son Justin bury his mom.
Miller was an author. A lifelong Southerner, she was born in Roanoke, Alabama, in 1959 and attended Auburn University where she began writing, but earned a degree in business to pay the bills, her author bio reads. Her books are Behold, This Dreamer, Through a Glass, Darkly, and There Is a River, a “multi-generational saga of the agricultural and cotton mill South.” She also wrote short stories.
Mamie Roberts Koon, 68
Irma Gomez-Moran, 41
James Henry Tate, 86
This post will be updated with more information about the victims as it becomes available.