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GSU mourns student, son

The funeral for Kendra Butler, 35, and Remington Butler, 14, will be this Sunday at Temple Baptist Church. That’s at 1515 S Service Rd W. The service begins at 2:30 p.m. Courtesy photo

Red “X” marks home where Kendra Butler and son lived. Raven LeDay/The Gramblinite

Businesses  salvage what that can following deadly storm.

Parts of Ruston are still waiting to be repaired after damages from the recent tornado that swept through the city last Thursday around 2 a.m.
The “EF3” tornado travelled down a diagonal path, piercing through many homes and businesses and leaving two members of the community dead – Kendra L. Butler and her son, Remington Butler.
Remington was a student at Ruston High School. He was also a member of UPHY, a local step team many Grambling students have seen perform at shows on campus. Remington would have celebrated his 15th birthday on April 27.
“On behalf of the entire Grambling State University family, I would like to offer our condolences to the family of Kendra Butler and her son Remington Butler, as they mourn the loss of our student and community member, President Richard Gallot, Jr. in a statement released following storm. “We are deeply saddened by the impact suffered by this family and our sister school, Louisiana Tech University in the wake of this morning’s tornado. We do have faith that the strong love and concern that connects us will once again carry us through as we assist in recovery. “
Dr. Aaron Livingston, program coordinator for GSU Sports Administration, reflected on the passing of his student and long-time friend of twelve years.
“It is my professional opinion that Ms. Kendra Butler possessed excellent writing, communication, organizational, and leadership skills,” Livingston said. “Some of her strongest assets were her ability to analyze, integrate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources and to bring this information to bear on an important topic.She was very hard working and self-motivated.”
Butler was a graduate student in the sports administration program at Grambling State University.
“She was held with high esteem by her peers,” Livingston said. “I knew her to be a very dedicated and loving parent. As we discussed her returning to Grambling State University to obtain the Master of Science Degree in Sport Administration in the fall of 2018, she expressed her passion to work in the GSU Athletic Department. On behalf of the GSU sport administration program, I would like to express our sincerest condolences to her family. “
The tornado was a part of a large line of severe weather which initiated tornadoes from East Texas to North Louisiana. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared Louisiana under a state of emergency immediately following the severe weather.
Louisiana Tech University’s campus was gravely damaged and nearly the whole city of Ruston was without power for at least 24 hours.
Bria Bradley, a junior at GSU from Jonesboro, said her car was damaged by a tree that had fallen.
“The tornado destroyed my neighborhood,” Bradley said. “I was stranded inside my neighborhood and without power for 3 days.”
Megan Gainous, a senior from Grambling, La., said her home was damaged in the storm.
“The tornado affected me because it kept banging on my window, making it shake the whole night,” said Megan Gainous, a senior from Grambling, La.. “When I examined it later that day, I saw it had cracks. Since they are small, I’m going to pay for it to get fixed myself.”
Students and residents from both Ruston and Grambling who were unaffected offered their time and service to clean up as much as they could. Various organizations drove to Louisiana Tech to pick up debris as well as pass out water and lunch bags to those who suffered the tragic destruction of their homes.
Local businesses helped also, including Avocado’s restaurant who passed out free tacos to those in need and local churches that offered shelter.
Miss Grambling elect, Rickenzie Johnikin, a junior from Farmerville, said she felt the need to go help the residents in Ruston because she would want the same to be done for her if she was in their shoes.
“My parents and grandparents raised me to bless others as God has blessed me,” Johnikin said. “We were surely blessed not to be hit by the wave of bad weather that came in the area that morning. Seeing the after effects of the storm really saddened me and some of my other friends so much that we were motivated to lend a helping hand and prayers to not only Louisiana Tech University, but Ruston, La. as a whole.”
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management or GOSEHP along with the Louisiana National Guard are working together assisting local responders after the tornado.
“To all of our students, I want to encourage you to support and look out for one another,” said Gallot. “To our Governor, Dr. Guice, Mayor Walker, Sheriff Stone, and our fellow Lincoln Parish residents, thank you for the continued collaboration that keeps our community strong as we work to recover.”
The funeral for Kendra Butler and Remington Butler will be Sunday at Temple Baptist Church, 1515 S Service Rd W. The service begins at 2:30 p.m.