A Kentucky couple who had been married for 56 years reportedly died while holding hands when tornadoes tore through the Bowling Green area last week.
“They had passed away together, holding onto each other,” Billy and Judy Miller’s granddaughter Serenity Miller told KHOU.
A coroner has identified 15 people — including seven children – who perished when the devastating twister tore through their community. In all, 74 people have been confirmed dead statewide after the monster storm on Dec. 10, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.
Billy, 73, a Vietnam veteran, and Judy, 72, were found side by side a day after the disaster, according to the Washington Post. The couple had renewed their wedding vows in honor of their 50th anniversary.
“When he went off to Vietnam, they got married, but it wasn’t the wedding she wanted,” Serenity told KHOU, but her grandmother later “got the wedding that she wanted with all of us grandchildren.”
She added that the couple “grew really deep bonds after the loss of two of their children and that bond I don’t think anyone could break.”
After the deadly tornado barreled through, Serenity said she tried getting in contact with her grandparents, who lived some 15 miles away, but their home had already been flattened.
The family found solace in the fact that the devoted pair were together until the end, according to KHOU.
“Their love was so deep for each other, we knew they wouldn’t be able to survive without each other,” Serenity said.
The family also was relieved to find Billy’s mud-covered Marine Corps jacket.
“Once I found it, I remember I broke down,” she told the outlet, adding that a local dry cleaner has offered to clean it for free.
Meanwhile, people all over Kentucky and Indiana have been finding wind-blown pictures of the tragic couple.
An Indiana farmer found a photo of the Millers as young parents, a 50th anniversary photo blew upstate and a childhood portrait ended up 100 miles away in Louisville, the Washington Post reported.
Another granddaughter, Haley Burton, 25, spotted the last photo on a Facebook group called “Quad State Tornado Found Items.”
“It gives me a lot of hope. With all the bad we have going on in the world … there are still great people out there that want these families to have these memories,” Burton told the paper.
“There was no other love like theirs,” she added.