GRANITE FALLS (AP) -- The man killed by the tornado that struck Granite Falls survived two devastating tornadoes before the one that took life.
A tornado destroyed Arly Swanson's farm in 1981, and led him to quit farming and move into a house in this southwestern Minnesota city, said his daughter, Karen Lade, of Zimmerman.
Swanson, 82, probably was in his living room when the tornado struck Tuesday evening, said Lade and one of his granddaughters, Jocelyn Papesh of Brooklyn Park.
Lade had feared her father might be among the injured when she watched early television reports of the tornado. She could tell her father's home was in the path. But it wasn't until she could contact a neighbor of her father by telephone that she learned her father's fate.
Swanson had lived alone since the death of his wife, Marian, about 6 1/2 years ago. The two had been married 50 years and were very close, Lade said.
Lade said her parents survived a tornado that struck their farm near Boyd sometime in the 1950s. Lade remembers scrambling for safety with them by dashing through the doors of a cellar in a scene much like that from the movie "Twister."
The tornado that struck her parents' farm near Clarkfield almost 20 years ago proved equally as dramatic, and more disastrous. Although it didn't destroy their home, it ruined everything else on the farm.
Lade and Papesh said Swanson probably was sitting in his favorite chair and watching the 6 p.m. news on TV when the storm struck. He was an avid newspaper reader and never missed the evening news program, they said. He also was hard of hearing and may not have heard the siren blaring outside, they said.
There had been rumors that he left his home when the storm struck, since his body was found under his pickup truck. Lade said that appears very unlikely. The injuries he suffered clearly indicated that he was in the home, she said.
"He was barefooted. There is no way he'd come out like that," said his son-in-law, Cecil Lade. "The cyclone blew him out of the house."
His body was found among the debris from his living room, on which the tornado also happened to drop the truck, Karen Lade said.
She said her father had cancer surgery in February and was still regaining his strength. If he did realize the storm was approaching, he may not have been able to protect himself or get to the basement quickly enough, she said.
Family members were busy Thursday cleaning up what remained of his home. They were consoled by their belief that Swanson is now reunited with his wife.
"He missed her very much," Karen Lade said.
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