PERRYTON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – As local officials, community members, and various agencies continue to work to support recovery in the wake of the recent tornado that rampaged through the city of Perryton, locals have also been left to mourn and remember the neighbors that were lost.
After touching down northwest of town at about 5:06 p.m. on June 15, according to the National Weather Service, the EF-3 tornado tore a path through Perryton and down across Highway 377. Over the course of around 10 minutes, the storm heavily damaged or destroyed dozens of mobile homes, houses, businesses, and agency facilities.
Nearly a week after the devastating storm, funeral services for the three people killed – 67-year-old Cindy Bransgrove, 66-year-old Rebecca Randall, and 11-year-old Matthew Ramirez – began Wednesday amid the wreckage and recovery efforts.
The first of the three to be buried was Cindy Bransgrove, whose memorial service was hosted Wednesday morning at the Community Worship Center.
According to local officials, at the time of her death, she was working with Jireh Outreach on Ash Street, the local food bank and the High Plains Food Bank’s largest feeding partner agency in the Perryton area. The food bank that Bransgrove was assisting served more than 750 households each month, as noted by the HPFB, before it was destroyed during the tornado.
As noted in her obituary, Bransgrove was born in Beaver, Okla. in 1956 and graduated from Balko High School in 1975. She lived in Perryton first from 1978 to 1997 with her husband Robert “Gene” Bransgrove, then returned to the community again after her husband’s death in 2015.
Bransgrove was a rancher alongside her sons Chad and Cory, according to her obituary, and her passions in life were her family, the farm, and her church. Not only was she an active member of the CWC in Perryton, but was further involved in mission work and volunteering projects, including in Guatemala.
Bransgrove’s obituary noted that she is survived by her daughter, two sons, six grandchildren, two brothers, one sister, “many nieces, nephews, cousins, and a lifetime of friends.”
Becky Randall’s memorial service, according to published information, is expected to be hosted at 10 a.m. on Friday at the First Christian Church.
Noted on her Facebook page, Randall was set to be at a sale event at Perryton Printing Co., which she owned and ran on Ash Street, at 5 p.m. – local officials said that she was there when the tornado destroyed her business, killing her in the process.
Detailed in her obituary, Randall was born in Perryton in 1957 and “loved life and lived it to the fullest.” Known in the community for her dedication and hard work, Randall owned and operated Perryton Printing Co. for 27 years and was an active member of First Christian Church. She not only participated in the church community as a Deacon and in the choir but also had “Children’s Chatter” as a special project that allowed her to work with children.
Randall’s obituary noted that she is survived by her husband, Keith Randall, as well as two brothers, four children, and five grandchildren.
While no memorial service details have yet been released for Matthew Ramirez, organizers with The Ike Fund detailed that the nonprofit has committed to covering his funeral costs, and has been in contact with the Ramirez family as they not only navigate their grief but also the hospitalization of Matthew’s brother.
According to local officials, Matthew was killed when his family’s home was hit by the tornado.
“Our nonprofit specifically has said we will pay for the funeral expenses out of what we already had in our account,” said Cari Beauchamp, President and Co-founder of the Ike Fund Inc. “So, anything above and beyond that will go directly to their family, and whatever they choose to use it as in their time. We’re not rushing them to make any decisions. But we will, we will continue to help them as they find a place a new place to live and also pay for medical expenses.”
“The family has asked for privacy during this time,” continued Beauchamp. “They’re the sweetest people you’ll ever meet and as they’re going through, trying to get Matthew’s brother healed up. They just asked that people respect their privacy. We are checking up with them daily.”
Update: June 27, 1:30 p.m.
According to his published obituary information, 11-year-old Matthew Eleazar Ramirez of Perryton was memorialized on Tuesday morning at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
As described in his obituary, Ramirez loved “soccer, going to McDonald’s, loved anything to do with technology, playing video games and playing with friends… He was always laughing and smiling, and he helped anyone he could. He loved building things, and he built and fixed anything he could think of.”
He was noted as being survived by his parents and stepfather, one brother, three uncles, five aunts, one grandfather, one grandmother, and 13 cousins.
This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.
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