Beloved community member dies in hospice on same day tornado tears apart

SOUTH FORT MYERS

As pieces of plywood and roofs lay on the ground, there is a hole in the hearts of those who live in The Fairways in Eagle Ridge. Just hours after a storm ravaged the community, around 6 a.m., one of its oldest and most beloved residents passed away.

Evie Bezdeicheck’s death is what created this hole. She died in the hospice around 11 a.m. The people who live there nicknamed the tornado “Evie” and said it was her way of saying goodbye to them.

The damage may be easy to see, but is the force behind it blowing? It’s … “that’s what the Lord does, and it’s wonderful to see.”

In a video taken before her death, she says her famous prayer. Her son says it’s for those who need it most. “She said, ‘Oh, I made it up, and you don’t know who needs it most,'” said John Bezdeicheck, Evie’s son.

Those who need it most now are its neighbors whose homes have suffered severe damage. But Evie was lucky because they got it.

Paul Smithers lives in the Fairways in Eagle Ridge. “Evie was talking to us. Evie wanted us to know it was time to go, ”Smithers said.

Nancy Smith-Gambaiani says Evie didn’t want to make such a mess. She just wanted us to remember. “She didn’t mean for all this destruction, I know. But she just wanted to make sure we remember her, and we definitely will, ”she said.

They see every fallen tree and every missing shingle as a memory. It all goes to show that Evie was a force to be reckoned with.

“She just reminded me of a mother figure and loved to play cards, like I said, she loved her Bud Light,” Smith-Gambaiani said. “She would go anywhere as long as she could bring it to the bud lights,” Smithers said with a laugh.

John and his wife Therese said that because his mother could not be there, she made her presence known. “Evie loved being in Florida, and she couldn’t be here, so she stormed out,” they said.

And, of course, she achieved her goal. Evie won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

“This we ask in the name of the Lord, amen. “

Evie is definitely leaving a lasting impact on her community. And, luckily, no one was injured in this tornado.

Cleaning crews have already passed by to begin the process of covering the roofs and cleaning up the debris. And, there’s a long way to go, but with Evie’s spirit watching over them, the neighborhood knows the cleanup will be quick.

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