Sluss Couple Funeral Service Set for Friday Afternoon

Post a Comment » Written on February 7th, 2007     
Filed under: News
DELAND, FL (February 7, 2007) – A funeral service will be conducted Friday afternoon for two members of Community Covenant Church who perished last week when a tornado ripped apart their home while they slept.

Michael Sluss, 54, and his wife, Melinda, 49, were among 20 people killed by three tornadoes that cut through central Florida last Friday. The service will take place at the First Assembly of God church because Community Covenant, a three-year-old church plant, does not have its own building.

Visitation will be observed from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at the Allen-Summerhill Funeral Home in DeLand.

The couple’s 16-year-old son, Aaron, was released Tuesday afternoon from the hospital following treatment for injuries he sustained, says his grandmother, Regina Foote. He now is staying with longtime family friends who also attend Community Covenant.

The tornadoes were the second deadliest in Florida history and left hundreds homeless, according to news reports. Twisters killed 42 people in Central Florida in 1998.

Like other Florida residents, the Slusses were sleeping Friday when their prefabricated house was ripped in half. Melinda’s body was pulled from under the home’s debris, but Michael and Aaron were found across the street.

“Aaron remembers the tornado hitting and being sucked out the window and flying over the house and road before he landed in a neighbor’s yard,” says Foote.

The teenager suffered numerous cuts. Doctors told Foote they were surprised Aaron had not bled to death from a laceration on his wrist that severed a tendon. “Somehow the cut stopped bleeding,” she says.

Foote, who lives about 45 minutes from where her daughter’s home once stood, has spent two days searching through the debris for personal items, but has found few. She holds little hope of finding more because the storm had scattered the larger items. “The washer and dryer and her new furniture are nowhere in sight,” Foote laments.

The Community Covenant youth group has gathered clothes for Aaron. A relief fund is expected to be established for him, but nothing has yet been finalized, Foote says.

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