Athens woman reunited with wedding dress after tornado

Denise Ferguson gazes down on the wedding dress she never thought she'd see again. (WTVC)

ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) – Nearly three months after a tornado ripped through Athens, residents are still working to pick-up debris.

Russell Repkie’s home was right in the path of the EF-2 tornado. He said some of the debris came from his own home, but the rrest came from miles away. said he has found everything from wood, tin to papers.

Previous story: Athens community rebuilds after November tornado

Repkie said he has found everything from wood to tin to pieces of his house. Clearing away items on his 26-acre property has taken months.

However, on Thursday he found something unexpected. At first, he thought it was probably just some more tin off somebody’s roof, but after he and his wife checked out the shiny material they found a golden box.

“I lift it up and it’s heavy. I thought, there’s something in there and she opens it up and says it’s somebody’s wedding dress,” Repkie said.

Russell posted a picture of the box on Facebook. In just two hours, Denise Ferguson contacted Repkie saying the dress was hers.

Denise Ferguson gazes down on the wedding dress she never thought she'd see again. (WTVC)
Denise Ferguson gazes down on the wedding dress she never thought she’d see again. (WTVC)

“She sent us a picture and my wife and I said at the same time ‘that’s it,'” Repkie told WTVC.

When Ferguson, who lives about a mile away, was reunited with her dress she was in shock. Her house was destroyed in the tornado and she thought she had lost everything.

“That’s it for sure, I can’t believe it really,” Ferguson said as she choked up.

Ferguson said finding the dress was a good reminder of her almost eighteen years of marriage and all of the good memories.

 

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