Joplin attorney Zach Tusinger, 26, watched the tornado approach late Sunday afternoon, photographing it from his loft’s balcony.
The storm took the lives of his aunt and uncle, Glenn and Lorie Holland.
That night, Tusinger forwarded storm-related information to CNN, including the detail that his aunt, an avid Facebook user, had posted “Oh my God” as a status update just before the storm hit.
That detail flashed across the online universe this week. But his aunt and uncle’s memories should not be reduced to just that, Tusinger said Friday.
“That was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things,” he said.
Glenn Holland, 59, was retired from the U.S. Air Force and was an avid skeet shooter.
Lorie, 48, had been an architectural drafter before taking time off about five years ago, choosing to work occasional part-time jobs. She enjoyed traveling and was concentrating on getting in shape to compete in organized running events. She had considered signing up for the annual Walt Disney World Marathon.
That figured, Tusinger said.
Both Glenn and Lorie were huge Disney fans, often traveling several times a year to Walt Disney World in Orlando. On Sunday afternoon, they had just returned from their latest trip to the theme park, where they had celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary.
“They had just come back from their favorite place in the entire world,” Tusinger said. “They were very happy, in a really good place, having a good life.
“That knowledge has made it much easier for the family to deal with this.”
On the official list issued Friday by state authorities, Glenn and Lorie Holland appeared as “unaccounted for,” but family members are convinced they are deceased. A neighbor pulled them from the rubble on Sunday night, Tusinger said.
Family members, including Tusinger’s grandparents William and Bonnie Mahood of Overland Park, are planning a joint funeral service.