The youngest victim of the tornado of 2001 died this past Monday due to complications from injuries he sustained in the tornado.
Jesse Robert Bean, 12, who for the past several years has lived in Grove City, Pennsylvania with multiple disabilities, was in Pontotoc with his grandmother the night of the tornado.
He was 4 years old the night of the tornado, February 24, staying with his grandmother, Joyce Sexton, while his dad, Gregory Bean, was completing a military transfer.
Jesse and his mother, Sherry Sexton Bean, and his older sister Kayla Bean were in a brick house on Hwy 341 when the twisting winds touched down.
The tornado cleaned the house off the slab scattering belongings and the family asunder in the woods beyond.
Jesse was found about 50 yards from the house by pastor Danny Washington. He suffered severe head trauma and remained in a coma for more than a year.
In the years that followed, he was able to attend multi-disabilities class at Sharpsville Elementary School.
“He fought a long, hard battle,” said Greg.
“You folks in Pontotoc were so good to us and we appreciate all you did to support our family.
“We know he is finally free of pain and no longer imprisoned.
“Free to do what little boys are supposed to do, run and play and explore. He has a lot of catching up to do.”
Jesse’s grandparents, Jimmy and Joyce Sexton, still live in Pontotoc.
Jesse’s name will be added to the tornado memorial on Highway 41 South at the corner of Liberty Street.
Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress