Florel Tate Stenson, 63: Lee County/Alabama/Beauregard tornado victim

Local News
Florel Stenson

Florel Stenson had returned home from her beloved church in Hatachubee on Sunday and had eaten lunch with her husband and son not long before the deadly tornado hit their home in Beauregard.

Earlier that day, her daughter, Krystal Garrett, and her children had left for their home in Birmingham to beat the rain that was expected.

Florel, her husband of more than 45 years, Henry, and their son, Eric Jamal Stenson were killed in the storm.

Florel’s last day was one that centered around family. But that wasn’t unusual. Most of her days since she retired as the office administrator for Auburn University’s Extension Department were like that, her daughter said.

“She was a very hands on grandmother,” Krystal said. “She kept them all the time. She supported my nephews and was very active and loving.”

She had six grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 19.

It wasn’t just the core family that leaned on Florel. 

“She was at the center of our entire family,” Krystal said. “She held us all together.”

Her younger brother, Roger Tate, agreed.

“My sister Florel was a like a second mom to me,” Tate told News 3. “She got to me in the right way. Talked to me while I was growing up. After I lost my mom in 2000, she just picked me up like I was one of her kids.”

For more than 35 years, Florel Stenson worked as a secretary in the Extension Department at Auburn University.

She retired from her work at Auburn University and devoted herself to her church. Florel sent her time working as a secretary and treasurer for her church, Pine Level A.M.E. Zion Church in Hatchechubee, Ala.

Click here to see Elizabeth White’s story on Tate and the family loss.

Click here for a full list of victims.

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