After Arkansas family lost three in tornado, Scouting helped them rebuild

On April 27, 2014, an EF4 tornado — the second highest on the scale — struck the Tittle family’s house in Ferndale, Ark.

The tornado leveled the home, killing three members of the Tittle family: Rob, the dad; Tori, 20; and Rebekah, 14.

“Everything went black, dark and we saw trees, 40- to 50-foot trees, just laying down,” Kerry Tittle, Rob’s wife, told KTHV-TV of Little Rock, Ark. “So immediately, everyone just ran to the center hall of the home.”

Kerry and seven of her children survived by taking shelter under a stairwell. Moments later, the storm ripped the house from its foundation.

Left to raise her children alone, Kerry searched for help. She knew nobody could replace Rob but desperately wanted to find positive male role models for her three sons.

She found them in Scouting.

“I cannot begin to express my appreciation to the adults in Troop 99 who have mentored my son over these past five years,” Kerry said in an interview with the Quapaw Area Council. “No matter how much time I spend with him working in the yard or building something, I can never provide the kind of male influence that a young man needs.”

Remembering his dad

Five years after the tornado, Noah Tittle, now 14, completed his Eagle Scout service project.

In addition to beautifying the Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area, Noah and his helpers built a memorial bench Noah dedicated to his dad and two sisters.

Kerry says that watching her son lead the Eagle project has been a healing experience for the family. When the project was completed, all the Tittles gathered to plant flowers at the bench. They unveiled a small memorial plate that bears the names of the three Tittles they lost that day: Rob, Tori and Rebekah.

Noah was just 9 when he lost three members of his family. Now 14, he’s grown into an impressive young man and role model to his young brothers, both in Cub Scouts.

“To see him grow from the boy who joined Cub Scouts to the young man and leader that he has become is something that I know only God could do,” Kerry told her council. “But He has used Scouts as a big part of doing it.”

Thanks to Butch Walker, development director of the Quapaw Area Council, for the tip.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.