Three families killed in the 1997 Jarrell tornado are buried together in Georgetown

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KVUE visited the graves of the Igo, Smith and Moehring families and interviewed the woman who coordinated their burials 25 years ago.

GEORGETOWN, Texas — Twenty-five years ago, the families of the 27 victims killed in the Jarrell, Texas, tornado were planning funerals and figuring out where their loved ones were going to be laid to rest. 

Three families ended up together at Odd Fellows Cemetery, a historic cemetery that first opened in the early 1900s in the neighboring city of Georgetown.

KVUE was able to meet up with Kimberly Garrett, the woman who coordinated the burials and sold the lots to the families. She still works for the City of Georgetown and said she had just started her job when the tornado struck Jarrell.

When she walks through the rows of graves, she doesn’t just see names — she remembers the stories and the faces that go with them.

“The Igo family, the Moehrings and the Smiths are all buried here in Georgetown,” Garrett said. “That process was very emotional following the devastation.”

Garrett said the cemetery made an exception for each family, widening the lot space to make sure they could be laid to rest side by side.

“For instance, the Igo family is a family of five and it was important to make sure they stay together, side by side, knowing they were holding each other in their home in their final moments,” Garrett said.

The Igo family was well-known and well-loved in Jarrell. They were active in the local church, and Igo Elementary was named after the mother, Joan, who spent years as a school teacher. 

They also have a statue dedicated to them at Jarrell Memorial Park. 

RELATED: Jarrell school board votes to rename elementary in honor of family lost in ’97 tornado

Not too far from the Igos, you can find the Moehring family, also buried together, side by side. The family of four is remembered fondly in the small Texas town.

Their gravestone reads:

“The Keith and Cindy Moehring Family — Departed this life together during the tornado at Jarrell, Texas on Tuesday May 27th, 1997”

As you walk down the gravel path, you can then find the Smith family. A loving mother, Cindie, and her two daughters, Brandi and Stacy.

Although it’s hard to fathom what these families experienced in their final moments, it brings peace to the community knowing they are laid to rest together.

To Central Texans, these families may be gone, but their special bonds and impact will never be forgotten.

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