Family who rescued American Girl doll after tornado gives thanks despite year of hardship

They used to live in Harrison Twp., before the Memorial Day tornado knocked their house off its foundation. And while they will not be home for Thanksgiving, they are still thankful for what they have.

News Center 7 has been following this family’s recovery ever since.

Holiday plans sound normal for the Walker family: Tim and his wife, Beth Wentz, their son, Hendrix and daughter, Storm.

RELATED: Tornado damage can't stop father from finding daughter's favorite doll

“We’re really excited about having everyone over,” Tim Walker said.

There will be homemade decorations, food and loved ones.

“This is kind of our chance to have the family over,” Wentz said.

However, there’s no doubt Thanksgiving will be different this year.

RELATED: 12-year-old tornado survivor thankful to be alive: ‘We lived through something that would probably kill us’

“This is our first holiday not in our house,” Wentz said. “We haven’t been in our house for half a year.”

“It’s hard. It’s still hard to believe it really happened,” her husband said.

Now, the Walker family live in a mobile home in Springfield.

While they appreciate their rental ...

RELATED: Woman surprises tornado victim with new outfits for her American Girl doll

“I miss the old house,” Storm said.

After everything the family has been through, they said there is still plenty to be thankful for.

“We’re all still together ... that we have a roof over our head and a place to call home, yup, a place to call home,” Tim Walker said.

RELATED: Family that rescued doll from tornado-struck house celebrates the important things

The family said they are still looking for a home to buy but are having trouble finding one they can afford and one with a basement in case there is another tornado.

If you have a news tip, call our 24-hour line at 937-259-2237 or send it to

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.