Trotwood woman may have died from injuries suffered during Memorial Day tornadoes, son says

The Memorial Day tornadoes that tore through the Dayton region may have claimed a second victim this week.

Lois J. Elmore, 86, of Trotwood, died Sunday as a result of injuries she suffered when a tornado damaged her Bessmer Drive home, her son Edward Fritz said. After an EF 4 tornado cut through Trotwood, Fritz said Elmore and her neighbor were trapped in her bathroom for more than 45 minutes.

“Her body just gave out,” Fritz said. “She suffered quite a bit from the time of the tornado to yesterday. She held on as long as she could.”

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The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has not yet determined Elmore’s official cause of death but told the Dayton Daily News that it is looking into whether it may be due to the tornado. The coroner’s office is reviewing Elmore’s hospital records and talking with doctors and expects to determine this week whether her death was tornado-related.

Elmore was in and out of hospitals following the late May tornadoes, both Fritz and the coroner’s office said.

Elmore described his mother as a kind and outgoing person. She lived a “nice life” and “gave everything she could give to people,” Fritz said. She was active with the Ethan Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church on Shiloh Springs Road in Clayton.

“My mother was a very giving person. She did a lot of things for a lot of people,” Fritz said. “She didn’t believe in strangers.”

Elmore's neighbor Arleen Long said Elmore broke her arm in the tornado and that her health had gone down-hill since then.

Long described Elmore as a friendly “beautiful person” who had an outgoing personality but was also soft-spoken. Long said she had known Elmore for a year or so before her death.

“She reminded me so much of my mom,” Long said. “So I just called her my second mom and we laughed.”

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If Elmore’s death is determined to be a direct result of the Memorial Day tornadoes, she would become the storm’s second victim more than three months after the twisters touched down.

Fifteen tornadoes wreaked havoc on Ohio the night of May 27. At least 59 homes were completely destroyed and 500 were damaged where Elmore lived in Trotwood.

Dale Hanna, 82, of Celina, was the only person believed to have been killed on the night an EF3 tore through the town.

Hanna worked for many years as a contractor and managed a building supply store, according to his obituary. He was a member of Abounding Grace Ministries in Celina, Gideons, MAPS and actively built churches and helped families with construction projects.

A Harrison Twp. woman with severe dementia may have also been a victim of the tornadoes.

Catherine “Cathy” Clayburn’s remains were found June 4 under stacked trees in a muddy creek near the Stillwater River, 75 to 85 feet below residences.

Clayburn, who was nonverbal and had no cell phone, was reported missing by family members about five hours before an EF 4 tornado shredded parts of the township May 27. Police were unable to determine whether Clayburn died as a direct result of the tornadoes.


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