Remembering 3 of the Putnam County victims killed in EF-4 tornado

Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 19:33:53-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The tornado that ravaged Cookeville in a matter of minutes left a pain that will be felt forever.

The Curtis home sits on McBroom Chapel Road. It was leveled in the EF-4 tornado that hit Middle Tennessee last Tuesday.

Mother nature wrath's killed three people who lived in the home. Father of five 54-year-old Terry Curtis, his 6-year-old son Dawson and their nanny 34-year old Amanda Cole. Terry's wife and other son were also hurt in the tornado. His wife remains in the hospital.

"Terry was a great guy," said Dustin Allen, Putnam County youth baseball league president. "He loved his wife, his family, and kids. He was just a big teddy bear."

Terry and Dawson both loved playing baseball. Terry was the coach for the Putnam County youth baseball league. Dawson followed in his dad's footsteps, playing on the tee-ball team.

Allen says they are honoring his legacy by creating the Terry Curtis scholarship. Each player in the league will also have Terry's name on their jersey for the 2020 season.

"The scholarship will be for any kid affected by the tornadoes and don't have the funds to play in the league. The community can donate by going on our website," said Allen.

Each field, Parkview, Baxter, and Jere Whitson, will have a fence sign with all 18 victims names on it that will be displayed every year. This will be revealed during the opening ceremonies on April 25, starting at 10:00 a.m.

"They were just a great sports family and they loved the game," said Allen.

Part of the Curtis family included Amanda Cole. Cole, who lived with them, treated the kids like her own.

Childhood friend Derik Zooashkiyani said Cole was one of the most supportive people he's ever met. He said Cole died trying to protect Dawson.

"To find the way she passed, to protect Dawson, who by all accounts was her world, it's very heartbreaking to see that happen," said Zooashkiyani. "But as heartbreaking as it is, the first thing that came to mind was of course, that's what she would've done."

That's how friends will always remember her - a hero.

A GoFundMe page has been created. If you want to donate, click here.