By Amanda Thomason  March 10, 2022 at 3:02pm

Many families have been left to pick up the pieces of their homes and mourn the loss of family members after a deadly tornado tore through Madison County, Iowa, on Saturday.

According to People, the twister reached speeds of 136 to 165 miles per hour and ended up claiming six lives.

The Des Moines Register reported it was the deadliest tornado in the state since 2008, when eight people were killed in New Hartford and Parkersburg.

One of the lives lost belonged to a man who is now being called a hero for the selflessness and courage he showed during the last moments of his life.

Rodney Clark and his wife, Judy, had been married for 20 years. They loved dancing and riding horses together, and they clearly cared very deeply for one another.

When the tornado approached their home on Saturday, they got into a tub and Clark, 64, shielded his wife with his body.

The twister picked them up and threw them 100 feet, leaving them in a pile of rubble and leveling their home.

Judy survived. Rodney did not.

The family, which has organized a GoFundMe for Judy, said this courageous behavior was characteristic of her husband.

“He laid on top of her and like held her close and pretty much saved her life,” grandson Jase Brumfild told KCCI-TV. “I just knew that, that that was him. Like, that was something that he would definitely do.”

“They were inseparable,” Clark’s son-in-law, Rhys Pate, added. “So I think, I think she is just having a hard time processing how she was the ‘lucky one.’”

The fundraiser, started by Jacob Burriola, has raised more than $16,000 for the hero’s widow.

“In last nights tornado, my daughters grandpa tragically lost his life,” the page reads. “When the tornado came through Winterset, it came right at their house.

“Rod Clark put his wife in their tub, and threw himself on top of her, sacrificing his life to save hers. HE IS A REAL LIFE HERO!

“I’m starting this fund so his wife Judy can put this to use to help their family however she sees fit in this horrible time. Please take some time and give to this family and show your support for this hero!”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking


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