Tornado claims second life

By Tonya Fennell

Last month’s tornado claimed its second victim Thursday when Walter “Snap” Cravy, 90, of Clovis died at a Lubbock hospital.

Thomas V. Cravy said his father had been hospitalized with multiple injuries since the March 23 tornado tore through a trailer home “Snap” Cravy shared with a friend on Oak Street.

“He died peacefully,” Thomas Cravy said. “The doctor said a man of 35 couldn’t have made it with so many injuries.”

Relatives found the elder Cravy and his friend Shirley Boothe in the wreckage of the trailer home.

“Snap” Cravy’s injuries included a broken neck, sternum, thigh bone, arm and ribs, his son said. Boothe suffered a broken foot and a head wound.

Marie Cravy described her father-in-law as a kind, mild-mannered man who spent his life working for the railroad. She said he was a doting grandfather of 12, great-grandfather of 17 and great-great-grandfather of one, and always had a dollar for each grandchild.

While he was known as a man of few words, Marie Cravy said “Snap” never spared words with his beloved granddaughter, Tilynn Pierce. “He would call her three or four times a day,” Marie Cravy said. “She (Tilynn) was his pet.”

The elder Cravy, who earned his nickname as a baby for the way he closed his eyes, served in the Merchant Marine in World War II. He was born in Roswell in 1916 and had been a Clovis resident for 88 of his 90 years.

“He (Walter) was a character,” Marie Cravy said. “He will be missed.”

Heleneta Blevins, 90, died March 27, four days after a tornado packing winds of up to 125 mph destroyed her trailer house in south Clovis.

Cravy and Blevins are the first tornado casualties in Clovis history. About 35 people were reported injured and 500 buildings damaged in the March 23 storm, according to officials.