Church bells to ring in memory of tornado victims

“For a time, Tracy was poised at the brink of oblivion.”
So wrote the Tracy Headlight-Herald a half-century ago, in describing the titanic tornado that ripped a 13-mile path of destruction across the countryside and through the heart of Tracy on June 13, 1968.
Fifty years later, church bells will peal in memory of the nine people who lost their lives in the tornado. Churches have been asked to ring their bells Wednesday, June 13, at 7:04 p.m., the precise time that the F-5 tornado began roaring through Tracy 50 years ago.
Those killed in the infamous 1968 tornado were: Nancy Vlahos, 2; Barbara Holbrook, 50; Walter Swanson, 47; Ella Haney, 84; Mildred Harden, 75; Ellen Morgan, 75; Otelia Werner, 75; Fred Pilatus, 71; and Paul Swanson, 60.
The Wheels Across the Prairie Museum, which is hosting a Wednesday open house to commemorate the 50th anniversary, is organizing the church-bell memorial tribute. The open house is from 1 to 5 p.m.