LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - There were 23 lives lost after tornadoes passed through Lee County, Alabama on Sunday.
It’s been an unbelievably hard couple of days for the family of 53-year-old David Dean.
Everyone who knew David Dean called him Road Dog or Papa Dog.
“Of course I called him daddy," said David Dean’s son, David Theo Dean. “My brother and sister called him daddy. Aall the other kids called him Papa Dog, that’s what everybody called him. His name was Road Dog. That’s what all grown people called him, but all the kids called him Papa Dog because he treated them just like one of his own, just like a father would.”
Carol Dean married David Dean in 2015. Their two families became one. “I had three kids, he had his three, we had six together," said Carol Dean. "But we loved them just like they were ours.”
“Everyone that’s known my dad his whole life any of them would tell you that since him and her had been together, been married, he’s been happiest man,” David Theo Dean said.
Carol Dean was working at Walmart Sunday when the storms came through, David Theo Dean said, when he messaged his dad to make sure he was okay. When he never heard back, he said he knew something wasn’t right.
“I spoke with him the day before," David Theo Dean said. "And our last words, was ‘I love you.’ That’s how he wanted it. He wouldn’t have it no other way.”
David Theo Dean said they’re planning a party for Friday to honor his dad. “He’d want everyone together at one time, see everyone and smile and have fun, just like he did when he was here. It’s what he always wanted, and it’s what we’re going to do for him,” said David Theo Dean.
“He didn’t want no tears," Carol Dean said. "If you had a sad face he was going to make you laugh. He wasn’t going to have it.”
Carol Dean said she is thankful for all of the support she’s gotten over the past couple of days. She knows it’s all coming from one place.
“Road Dog still takes care of me even from heaven,” Carol Dean said.
David Dean’s family said they are so thankful for everything Carol Dean’s employer, Walmart, is doing for them, and well as David Theo Dean’s employer, Hydrogreen Erosion Control. Between the two employers, the family said they couldn’t have asked for any more support.