Couple married for 57 years die side-by-side during Tennessee tornado

An elderly couple passed away while lying by each other’s side in their home as a massive tornado plowed through Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, on Tuesday, March 3. 

Donna Eaton 81, and her husband, James, 84, died side by side on a mattress thrown off their bed when a tornado devoured their home on Catalpa Drive in the morning, according to the Nashville Tennessean.

“About as close as you can get,” Mt. Juliet Police Department Capt. Tyler Chandler said about the couple who had been married for 58 years.

Image Credit, Nashville Tennessean

The police department offered their condolences to the Eaton’s friends and family Facebook page, and also to another victim (38-year-old security guard Brandy Barker).

‪Tragically, 3 individuals lost their life in Mt. Juliet’s tornado, & our hearts go out to their families & loved…

Posted by Mt. Juliet Police Department on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

James and Donna’s 24-year-old grandchild, Jake Hardy-Moore, recalled that their relationship was

“the best earthly example of what a marriage should look like.

They showed Christ’s love and his sacrifice. They both loved our families through challenging times of life. They were the ones we looked to when times were difficult, and they kept us pointed toward God and to be dependent on God,” he said.

The couple had been regulars at the First Baptist Church Mt. Juliet for 40 years, where James helped Pastoral Care and Senior Adult Pastor David Fallin on hospital visits and volunteered to help out in running the church coffee bar on Sundays.

Donna was a retired business manager at the same church and was regularly helping with office duties.

“The Eatons represented the very best of First Baptist,” Pastor Phillip Dunn said.

“To know that they were taken from us so quickly in a storm shocks all of us. We can also rest assured that Jim and Donna loved Christ and woke up with their faith becoming sight,” he added.

When the stormy saga came to an end, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee ordered flags to be flown at half-staff over the Capitol building in honor of the victims.

You can watch FOX17s coverage on the story in the video below.

Tennessee couple married over 50 years die side-by-side in tornado

"The way that they went, God honored them." 💔 Mt. Juliet couple married over 50 years die side-by-side in tornado https://bit.ly/38rSKEg

Posted by WSBT-TV on Friday, March 6, 2020

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