'Real-life hero' husband dies shielding wife in bathtub during Iowa tornado: "They were inseparable"

'Real-life hero' husband dies shielding wife in bathtub during Iowa tornado: "They were inseparable"

64-year-old Rodney Clark protected his wife Judy when the violent tornado hit central Iowa over the weekend.

Rodney Clark and his wife Judy had been married for 20 years. The couple spent many years together, enjoying dancing and riding horses. Sadly, 64-year-old Rodney Clark died when a violent tornado leveled their home in Iowa over the weekend. The wind speeds measured between 136 miles per hour and 165 miles per hour as the tornado swept through Madison County on Saturday. The couple was thrown airborne 100 feet before they landed in a pile of debris. Loved ones are remembering Rodney as a real-life hero for placing himself on top of his wife in the bathtub in an attempt to shield her from the storm. It was that final act of love that saved Judy's life.


“He was changing the brakes on his truck, and Judy came yelling at Rod, ‘You got to get inside. The tornado is coming,’” said Rhys Pate, the Clarks’ son-in-law. "He laid on top of her and held her close and pretty much saved her life," Jase Brumfild, Clark's grandson, told KCCI. "I just knew that that was him. That was something that he would definitely do." "They were inseparable," added Rhys. "So I think [Judy] is just having a hard time processing how she was the 'lucky one.'"


Rodney Clark was a father of three and grandfather of nine and he is terribly missed by everyone in his family. “I am going to miss him so much because now, whenever I am going to have a wrestling tournament, it is not going to feel the same without him watching,” Jase said. “He used to make everything fun, even if I was sad,” said Johannah Pate, Clarks’ granddaughter.


Family member Jacob Burriola created a GoFundMe to help Judy recover as the couple lost their home in the tornado. He wrote: In last nights tornado, my daughters grandpa tragically lost his life. 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!  The campaign has raised a little over $13,000 at the time of this publication.


Cover Image Source: YouTube | KCCI

Recommended for you