Memorial services for Zach Williams, 12, a victim of the Joplin tornado, were Monday at Summersville.

A 12-year-old boy whose grandparents live in Summersville is among those declared dead following the devastating Joplin tornado that killed at least 139.

Zachary Williams is the grandson of Earnest and Kathy Clark and Jim and Kathleen Williams.

Zachary’s mother, Tammy Clark Niederhelman reported her son called as the tornado struck and said he was scared. The family home was destroyed.

His mother – who had been looking for him since Sunday night – had been told by a neighbor earlier in the week that a boy was found near her home after the storm. She received official notification of his death last Thursday.

She is an employee at Freeman Hospital and was there when the twister struck.

Niederhelman said her husband sustained injuries in the twister.

“I remember looking up and watching the roof peel off the house and after that I don’t know if I got knocked out or what. When I woke up I was sitting in the pickup,” Anthony Niederelman, her husband, remembers.

Both are staying with her brother, Chad Clark, and family in Neosho.

Zachary’s stepfather, Anthony, told a Springfield newspaper that the boy liked to play with Legos and enjoyed video games. He also spent much time with his parents and had a delightfully odd sense of humor, the stepfather said.

Memorial services for Zachary were Monday at Bradford Funeral Home Chapel at Summersville.


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