Kirkland, ILL -- As cleanup continues across the Midwest for victims who lost everything in last week's devastating tornadoes, one family is getting a something -- however small -- back.
Clem Schultz lost his wife Gerldine in Thursday’s tornado. But on Monday, he got word that someone about 35 miles away found a photo the two had taken nearly 25 years ago.
Shultz was making funeral arraignments for his wife Monday morning when the photo was returned. He was immediately flooded with feelings upon seeing the picture.
"It brings back a lot of memories," he said. "It was one of the last things I saw before I rode that house down to the ground."
The 25-year-old church photo of he and his wife was in the couple’s Fairdale bedroom. Gerldine, along with her friend down street Jacklyn Klosa, were killed when last Thursday’s EF-4 tornado tore through their town.
Shultz and his family have Evan Bottlemy to thank for the photo’s return. On Saturday, Bottlemy and a friend went for a walk on the 240 acres around his Harvard, Ill., home, a town about 35 miles northeast of Fairdale. He says they came across a lot of things that didn’t belong in the fields.
“There was just so many pieces of people’s houses and building insulation everywhere,” he said.
Mixed into with some of that insulation Bottlemy spotted the photo-soaking wet but in one piece.
“I looked at it and I thought this lady looking at me … it just felt like you needed to do something,” Bottlemy said. “It’s somebody’s anniversary photo, somebody is going to want to find this.”