An elderly Kentucky couple, married for 56 years, died holding hands after devastating tornadoes struck last week, according to family members.
Billy and Judy Miller were two of 11 victims killed as storms tore through Muhlenberg County, northwest of Bowling Green in western Kentucky, late Friday night.
‘They had passed away together, holding on to each other,’ their granddaughter, Serenity Miller told KHOU.
‘Their love was so deep for each other, we knew they wouldn’t be able to survive without each other.’
Miller said that despite half a century together and losing a son, Billy Miller Jr, and a daughter, Heather Miller Brooks, her grandparents’ love for each other never dimmed.
Pictured: Billy and Judy Miller, who died while holding hands during last week’s deadly tornadoes that ripped through Kentucky
Billy and Judy Miller, pictured, were two of 11 victims who died when a tornado tore through Muhlenberg County, northwest of Bowling Green, in western Kentucky Friday night
The couple, pictured, got married in 1966 as Billy Miller was heading off to fight in Vietnam
‘They grew really deep bonds after the loss of two of their children and that bond – I don’t think anyone could break.’
Family told the outlet that they frantically attempted to contact the two early Saturday morning after the tornado hit; Serenity Miller lives about 15 miles away and her parents, five miles away. from the couple’s Bremen home.
However, they already had died, and their home was reduced to rubble.
The elderly couple, who were hastily married back in 1966 as Billy was heading off to fight as a Marine in Vietnam, got a chance to renew their vows in a proper wedding ceremony recently at their 50-year anniversary.
‘When he went off to Vietnam, they got married, but it wasn’t the wedding she wanted,’ their granddaughter said.
‘They went and she got the wedding that she wanted with all of us grandchildren. That there was everything to them,’ said Serenity Miller.
The family has since been sifting through the debris, pictured, that was once Billy and Judy Miller’s home, with nearly everything having been destroyed or blown away in the tornado
Pictured: debris and rubble where the Miller’s home used to be after it was destroyed in Friday’s deadly tornadoes
The family is sifting through the debris that was once their home, but nearly everything was destroyed or blew away in the tornado.
However, they did recover one item – Billy’s Marine uniform jacket, which was covered in mud but otherwise intact.
‘Once I found it, I remember I broke down,’ Miller said, before adding that both he and Judy took a lot of pride in the jacket.
A dry cleaner in nearby Owensboro offered to clean it for free while residents in Kentucky and Indiana are helping the family find any scattered pictures.
So far, the family has recovered four pictures of the couple from their home.
‘Their love was so deep for each other, we knew they wouldn’t be able to survive without each other,’ said Miller.
However, they did recover one item – Billy’s Marine jacket, which was covered in mud but otherwise still intact
The city of Mayfield, Kentucky, was hit particularly hard, including a candle manufacturing factory that was operating at the time the twister hit
The Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory was hit by a tornado on Friday
Many residents in the area have been displaced from their homes after residential neighborhoods had been reduced to rubble
US President Joe Biden surveys storm damage from the tornadoes and extreme weather in Dawson Springs, Kentucky
The family added that they are grateful the couple were together, both in life and in death.
The tornadoes left a trail of wreckage in their wake stretching from Arkansas, where a nursing home was destroyed, to Illinois, where an Amazon distribution center was heavily damaged.
In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear said the death toll could grow as authorities continued to work around debris that slowed recovery efforts.
Nearly 450 National Guard members were mobilized in the state, and 95 of them are searching for those presumed dead.
Across the state, about 26,000 homes and businesses were without electricity, according to poweroutage.us, including nearly every Mayfield customer.
More than 10,000 homes and businesses had no water as of Monday, and another 17,000 are under boil-water advisories, Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett told reporters.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden arrived in Kentucky to survey the tornadoes’ devastating damage, while saying the federal government will pay for 100 percent of Kentucky’s tornado recovery for the first 30 days, according to WLKY.
Source: Daily Mail