On the evening of Saturday, June 5 as the clock closed in on midnight, local television news broadcasters announced that two people were killed in separate incidents along State Route 795 in Lake Township.
It was at that time that most Northwest Ohio residents might have realized that a tornado outbreak occurring simultaneously was going to have serious consequences. Most may not have realized just how serious, yet.
Four Lake Township residents and one Woodville resident would be killed as an F-4 tornado created its own path of destruction beginning at Friendly Village trailer court on Tracy Road, passing through Moline, along Route 795, heading into Millbury, and then on past Blackberry Corners and Route 579 in Ottawa County.
Millbury residents losing their lives are Ted Kranz, 46, Mary A. (DeFriece) Walters, 36, and Walters’ four-year-old son, Hayden D. Walters.
Bailey Bowman, 20, of Walbridge, and Kathleen E. Hammitt, 56, Woodville, were most likely the two women first announced killed as the tornado caught up to them while in automobiles heading along Route 795.
Memorials have been set up for all five of the deceased and readers may comment at www.presspublications.com.
Ted Kranz was outside his residence starting the generator for his sump-pump and retrieving the family dog when he was killed. According to news reports, his family was in the basement of his home as the tornado approached.
Kranz is the father of Lake graduate Katelyn Kranz, the 2010 senior class valedictorian. His death occurred hours before his daughter’s graduation and her valedictorian’s address at the originally scheduled Lake commencement ceremony Sunday. The ceremony was rescheduled to Tuesday at Owens Community College because the Lake Field House was destroyed by the tornado.
Kranz, owner-operator of Digi-Tise LLC, was married to Cynthia Bialorucki and a member of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Walbridge.
In his spare time, Kranz enjoyed boating, fishing, golfing, tennis, and “he especially enjoyed attending his children’s sporting events,” states his obituary.
He is survived by his wife; children Katie, Courtney, and Michael Kranz; mother Betty Kranz; father Tom (Betty) Kranz Sr.; brothers Tom Jr., Tim (Linda) and Terry (Anne) Kranz; sisters Cathy (Rich) Fulton-Dzienny, Bonnie (Takashi) Yamano, Carol (Jim) Potter, Betsy (Jesse) Villarreal; mother and father-in-law Dave (Marge) Bialorucki; brother-in-laws Dave (Jan) Bialorucki Jr., Joe (Heidi) Bialorucki, and Mike (Courtney) Bialorucki; sister Lisa (Jason) Bialorucki-Domagala and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were scheduled for Friday in Cedar Creek Church in Perrysburg Township with Pastor Marty Pennington of Mainstreet Chruch officiating. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
According to news reports, Mary and son Hayden Walters had gone to bed before the tornado hit and the tornado struck before family could warn them. Mary was pronounced dead at St. Vincent-Mercy Hospital.
A Bellevue, Ohio native, Mary was employed for Children’s Discovery Center as an administrative assistant. She attended the University of Toledo and obtained her Associates Degree in Gerontology Social work. She married Ryan Walters on August 10, 1999 and was a member of Mainstreet Church.
According to her obituary, “Mary was passionate about her role as a mother and wife. She was devoted to her life with children Ryan, Maddie and Hayden. Mary’s life revolved around her personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She was devoted to seeing others come to a personal relationship with him.
“Mary enjoyed walking with her sister Amy, riding bikes with her husband and children and camping with her best friends Scott and Kristi Gibson. She will be best remembered by her fast speech and contagious laugh. She would love nothing more than for you to celebrate her life by finding peace, knowing that you will join her again in Heaven.”
Hayden’s obituary states he “was a spunky, energetic, and had an amazing zest for life. One of Hayden’s favorite past-times was running along the sidelines of his Daddy’s 5K and 10K races. Hayden loved Buzzlight Year, Toy Story and Spider-Man the best.
“He will be missed most because of the way he opened everyone else’s presents at Christmas. The best way to remember him now is to picture him in the arms of his Poppie Walters, Papa Delmos, his Mama and Jesus.”
They are survived by Mary’s husband and Hayden’s father Ryan Walters, daughter Madison Walters; Mary’s mother Dolores DeFriece; brothers Daniel (Jennifer) DeFriece and Chad (Ambre) DeFriece; sister Amy (Craig) Sigler and many nieces and nephews. Mary was preceded in death by her father Delmos.
Funeral services were Saturday at Cedar Creek Church with Pastor Pennington officiating. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Mary and Hayden Walters Scholarship Fund at Fifth Third Bank for Maddie Walters or Children’s Discovery Center.
Kathleen E. Hammitt was driving home along Route 795 when her car was struck by the tornado. She was married to Norman L. Hammitt. Kathleen was a minister at North Dover United Methodist Church in Wauseon and was a former pre-school special needs teacher for the Fostoria School District. Currently, Kathleen is enrolled at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Delaware, Ohio.
Kathleen is survived by her husband, daughters Jennifer Hammitt of Indianapolis, Indiana and Amy Hammitt, Toledo; son Adam Hammitt, Woodville; and brother Steven (Linda) Morris, Toledo. She was preceded in death by her parents Roland and Gertrude Morris. Funeral services, officiated by Rev. Jennifer Williamson and Rev. Kenneth Ladd, were Saturday at Woodville United Methodist Church. Memorials may take the form of contributions to Bay Park Hospital ICU.
(See www.presspublications.com for a separate feature about Bailey Bowman)