HEARTBREAKING VIDEO: Man captures on video the tornado that kill - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

HEARTBREAKING VIDEO: Man captures on video the tornado that killed his wife


Clem Schultz thought the funnel cloud heading toward him was going West and would miss his home.

However, as Schultz turned his phone to video mode, he quickly realized the distant storm was no longer distant. The roars of wind and lightning were getting louder; his home was in the storm's direct path.

"I felt the house kind of shake and the floor moved under my feet," Schultz said.

Schultz was upstairs searching for a flashlight and recording the impending tornado. His wife, Geri, was downstairs.

Before he knew it the EF-4 tornado was circling overhead.

The couple had spent years fixing up their house, but after April 9, 2015, it was unrecognizable. Underneath the remains of the home were Geri and Clem.

"When I was under that rubble, after things had quieted down, I asked myself, 'Okay Clem, are you dead?' I said, 'no, I hurt, you can't hurt when you're dead.' And that's when I started trying to get out of the rubble," Schultz said.

He used a board to push off his belongings that were now burying him. After a few minutes he could see the sky, but also someone looking down.

"There was somebody, I don't know who he was, he says, 'There is a beam sitting right there, come sit here and put your feet on the floor, but don't look down,'" Schultz said. "I said, 'why don't look down?'

'Because your wife is right under you and she is dead.'"

The two were nearing their 25th wedding anniversary.

Geri's wasn't the only life lost that night. The other was right next door. Yvette Peek DeWispelaere no longer lives in Fairdale, but her mother, Jackie, did.

"As soon as I got the phone call from my friend that a tornado had hit Fairdale, I had this feeling that she was already gone," DeWispelaere said.

DeWispelaere grew up in Fairdale. Her mother lived there more than 50 years.

"It was so surreal because the whole town was just glowing with red and blue," DeWispelaere said.

DeWispelaere says the town was unrecognizable. The gut feeling that DeWispelaere first got about her mom never left, until the nagging fear was confirmed.

Already a fighter who took on Stage 3 cancer and a stroke, her mom could not fend off the strength of mother nature.

Two victims, two different homes, both lost to nature that night. Both leaving behind families with a pain that will never quite heal.

But one year later, they manage to press on and find comfort from those around them.

"They're a strong, close knit people that a tornado is not going to break apart," DeWispelaere said.

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