Loretta Lynn Is Heartbroken by the Death of Her Ranch Foreman, Wayne Spears
A man who Loretta Lynn considered family was among the 18 people killed by devastating floods in middle Tennessee on Saturday (Aug. 21). On Facebook, the country legend describes Wayne Spears as a real backbone of operations.
Over 17 inches of rain fell in Humphreys County, west of Nashville, over the weekend. Spears was a ranch foreman at Loretta Lynn's Ranch, a campground and touring venue. The ranch's social media accounts shared news of his death on Sunday (Aug. 22), with Lynn later reflecting on her relationship with a man known for his, "ready smile, kind heart and willingness to go the extra mile for everyone around him."
"There are no words at the ranch today ... only tears," Lynn begins. Of Spears, she says he, "took such good care of things here on the ranch for us. He's one of us and the whole Lynn family Is heartbroken. Please pray for his precious family and friends."
Spears has been part of the family for decades. He was swept up by flood waters and did not survive. Among the others killed were 7-month-old twin babies. The death total was originally listed as 21, but the Tennessean reports that's since been corrected to 18, with three still missing (as of Aug. 24).
Lynn remained safe during the storms.
On Facebook, Jon Cody Finger (husband to Lynn's granddaughter, Tayla) shared video of the flooding, captured by drone. He shared the link to both a GoFundMe set up for recovery efforts, and a link to United Way of Humphreys County.
The flooding affected Humphreys, Houston, Dickson and Hickman Counties, all west of Nashville. The National Weather Service reports 17.02 inches of rainfall in McEwan, Tenn. That number easily bests the state's previous record for 24-hour total rainfall, which was 13.06 inches in Milan, Tenn. in 1982.