Pekin family who lost everything in tornado celebrates new home - News, Weather & Sports

Pekin family who lost everything in tornado celebrates new home

Gene and a friend. Gene and a friend.
Their new dining room. Their new dining room.
The Lewellyn's new home The Lewellyn's new home

PEKIN, IN (WAVE)- Almost seven months have gone by since the devastating tornado tore through our area on March 2. Lives were lost and others changed forever. But, months later there continues to be good news. 

Gene Lewellyn was in the basement of his Pekin home when the storm tore through. "It was just a very violent shake when it hit and that was it. It was over and it got deathly quiet," Gene Lewellyn said.

Gene and his wife, Jeanie lost everything. Now, almost 7 months later, "I have a new home!" Jeanie said with a big bright smile as she stood in her new kitchen.

Everything in their three bedroom home is new.

"I've been waiting so long just to come in and prop my feet up in a home again," she said.

The Lewellyn's proudly display quilts given to them after the storm. Their home even has a safe room, should the unthinkable ever happen again. Sunday, friends and family came over to celebrate.

"To help make it a home, not a house," Jeanie said with a smile. And to shower love on the Lewellyn's in their new home.

"That means more to me than a home does," Gene said. "Just to have friends and family here supporting us."

Friends and family helped navigate the tough road to get here.

"I'd just like to thank the people that really helped us," said Gene. "We had so many great people just here in our community. The little town of Pekin"

Across the street, a cross was placed in honor of people they knew and lost. Joe Babcock, Moriah Brough and their three children Jaydon, Angel and Kendall. The family of 5 taken by the storm.

"They'll never be forgotten," Jeanie said.

On this new day, celebrating their new home, Jeanie said she wants to spread the kindness.

"I'd like to get out and help some of the other people that's needing to get back into their home," she said.

As Pekin recovers, one family at a time.

As far as helping people out, Jeanie said she's already got an idea of which neighbors she'd like to help. Gene and Jeanie tell WAVE 3 they plan on having a lot of family and friends over for the holidays in their brand new home.

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