Quilt made by tornado victim travels 10 miles from Ocean Ridge Plantation to Ash

Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 8:20 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Handmade quilts are meant to last generations, but you wouldn’t believe what the one found in Ash this week endured.

A family in Ash found it in their driveway after the tornado ripped through Brunswick County and took to social media to hopefully return it.

Hundreds of people flocked to the post, and the family ultimately learned the owner lived ten miles away in Ocean Ridge Plantation and was killed in the deadly storm.

Phyllis O’Connor was a regular in the Ocean Ridge Plantation quilting club. Just hours before the tornado, the group completed 28 handmade quilts to be donated to women at the Rose House, a recovery house set to open soon.

The executive director of the non-profit opening the Rose House says he worked closely with O’Conner to plan charitable events in the community.

“A genuine, kind person, loving; her husband was a great person. It’s a loss we don’t have them anymore,” said Josh Torbich, the executive director of Christian Recovery Centers Inc.

O’Connor was keeping the quilts at her house, which was flattened during the storm.

Now, the search is on to find the remaining quilts. Buddy Walley is the social enterprise manager at Christian Recovery Centers Inc. and was volunteering at Ocean Ridge Plantation Thursday helping remove debris from people’s yards.

“I got an email yesterday about the quilts and that someone found one already and I keep looking amid trees and stuff. I haven’t found one yet,” said Walley.

The Alphabet quilt found in Ash is now back with the O’Connor family, but even if none of the others are found, the quilts represent a strong expression of love from the Ocean Ridge Plantation a community that piece-by-piece will patch itself back together.

“I think it’s sincerely a miracle. I think it might even be Phyllis’ way of giving us a little wink, saying she’s okay and she’s up there with God and Jesus and that she’s up there, you know, looking down on us,” added Torbich.

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