Mona Brockman Parthun her story of survival during, and following, what is the most devastating natural disaster to strike the Wichita Falls area during the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce’s general membership meeting at noon Wednesday, March 28, at The Rock Barn.
On April 10, 1979, Parthun was in a car with her husband in Wichita Falls, near the intersection of Midwestern Parkway and Maplewood Drive when an F4 tornado swept away much of the town. They was in the direct path of the tornado. Parthun was severely injured while seeking cover, but serviced by laying flat on the ground and hanging on to a small tree.
Surviving what would become known as Terrible Tuesday was only the beginning of her journey as Parthun would almost die from infection caused by the debris, lose her right leg above the knee, her left leg below the knee and endure months of grueling physical therapy.
The tornado killed 42 people in Wichita Falls, and created approximately $400 million in damage. The tornado left a swath one mile wide and 47 miles long. It also struck portions of northern Clay County, including the Dean area.
Parthun was born in 1957 to Wayne Brockman and Wanda Brockman Brown, and graduated from Henrietta High School in 1975. She moved to Wichita Falls shortly after graduation and began working at First Mercantile Bank. Parthun now lives in Carrollton, is married and has two daughters, Stephanie and Marissa, and two grandchildren, Arianna and Camron.
Wednesday’s chamber of commerce meeting is open to the general public, and a catered meal will be served. Cost of the event is $8 per person. The chamber of commerce urges those interested in attending to RSVP by calling (940) 538-5261.