Service Set For 4 Family Members Killed In Tornado

Wednesday, May 14th 2008, 10:42 pm
By: News On 6

Many people from Green Country will drive to Joplin on Thursday to attend a funeral for four members of one family.  Dan and Gay Monroe are from Oklahoma, but moved near Seneca, Missouri, a few years ago.  News On 6 anchor Lori Fullbright reports they were killed along with two of their sons in the tornado.

Dan and Gay Monroe are well respected and loved.  Now, they'll be laid to rest with two of their sons.  Another son and daughter-in-law survived and are recovering.

Family members say Dan and Gay Monroe loved each other dearly.  She was a Bible minister and he was known for his sense of humor and his love for his seven children and 12 grandchildren.

Their sons, 41-year-old Jeff and 37-year-old Joe, Dan, Junior and his wife, Heather, were all together Saturday when the skies went dark and they rushed into  Dan and Gay's mobile home.

Dan, Gay, Jeff and Joe were killed.  Dan, Junior and Heather were thrown a great distance, but survived.

The news hit family members hard.

"I think we're all doing as well as can be expected in this situation, but it's an awful, awful shock to all of us," said Dan's sister, Sarah.

Like so many homes in Seneca, there is little left of the Monroe's.

Their family feels they would've died, even if they hadn't been in a mobile home because a brand new brick house just down the road, was also demolished by the nearly 200 mile an hour winds.

For now, memories will have to sustain their loved ones.  

Sarah remembers when Dan worked for the Fizzo Water Company in west Tulsa and let his little sister tag along.

"They drove a delivery route to take water and he'd come by and pick me up and take me on his delivery route with him. He even took me on dates. In fact, I went on quite a few when he was dating Gay," said Dan's sister, Sarah.

Dan worked for many years at Green Valley Mobile Home and he also lived in Sallisaw for a time.  Now, he and his wife and two of their sons will be laid to rest together.

"There's no easy way with that many. I have no idea what it's going to be like. It's bad when you just have one, I just don't know," said Dan's sister, Sarah.

The family says their faith will sustain them until they can all be together once again.

Dan, Junior and his wife are recovering.  He had surgery on his back and is doing well.   Jeff Monroe leaves behind a son, and Joe Monroe is survived by a wife and daughter.

The services for all four will be held on Thursday at noon at Joplin Memorial Hall which is at 212 West 8th Street.

Ironically, during the storm on Wednesday night, Dan had called his brother in Bixby to make sure they were taking shelter and were okay.  Just a few days later, he dies in a storm himself.