We were neighbors of Mrs. Margaret Baker. My mom and Margaret were very good friends. My mom adored her and spent many an hour and day with her as they were very close.
My sisters and I use to walk to Baker's for her and get her groceries or whatever she needed. My mom did the same as well as go to the library for her since she was such an avid reader. My brothers used to mow her lawn, and we would shovel her drive and sidewalks.
All the neighbors kept an eye out for her since she was a widow. Her husband died in the war. ... In any event, they had no kids, but we were sort of her adopted family.
The day of the tornado, her next-door neighbors thought of going to get her, but they saw that she had her basement lights on. They knew the only time she had those lights on was when she was downstairs. They knew she was safe. Things were getting intense so everyone hunkered down.
After everything was said and done, and we were surveying the damage and in complete shock from what just happened to us, neighbor kids were running from door to door to see if Margaret was with anyone. Unfortunately, she was not. A couple of hours after the tornado had passed, she was found in our backyard. My dad and another neighbor found her. She was found under all the clothes from her bedroom closet. We eventually came to the conclusion that she had forgotten something upstairs and went back to get it. Unfortunately, by the time she got back upstairs there wasn't enough time to get back downstairs, so we think she took shelter in her closet.
About the time she was found, our priest, Fr. Broderson from St. Pius X, was walking through all the rubble and devastation and making sure everyone was OK, which was not the case, unfortunately. He gave her the last rites before an ambulance came and carried her broken body away.
The very sad thing about all of that is that even if she had been downstairs, she wouldn't have had a chance. Absolutely everything was sucked out of her house. Nothing was left but the foundation her house sat on and some of her flower garden.
My mom was completely devastated by Mrs. Baker's death and in such a horrible horrible way, too. An OWH photographer was walking through our yard when all of this was taking place and snapped a picture of my mom which made the front page of The World Herald the next day.
Our house along with only one other, were the only two houses left "standing" on our block.
I wish I had more information for you about her. Everything surrounding this was heartbreaking. Another sad thing was that none of her relatives were ever around. No one ever went to visit her. She was all alone except for her neighborhood family. If my mom were still alive (she died just two years ago) she would be able to give you so much more information about her. As I said, my mom adored her. It took her a long time to stop feeling guilty about not having her with us when the storm hit.