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Hafners were 'great, giving people' who died in tornado

A couple that was known at their church and among neighbors as "great, giving people" died in Wednesday's tornado southwest of Rock Hill.

Barbara Hafner, 62, and Charles "Ken" Hafner, 60, were killed when the mobile home they lived in at the intersection of S.C. 324 and Skyline Road was destroyed by the tornado, officials said.

The Hafners, who had seven grown children and several grandchildren, owned and operated a home cleaning business, said Rev. Rick Martin, senior pastor at Eastview Baptist Church, where the Hafners were longtime members.

"Ken was a super guy, he ran the sound at the church, he opened the church early, he was always there to lend a hand for anything," Martin said. "Barbara, she was just a wonderful, sweet and giving woman.

"These were great, giving people."

All that is left of where the mobile home sat is the foundation. The tornado lifted the mobile home and dropped it in the backyard of a house across the street.

"His trailer is back here behind my house," said Ty McCollum, who lives across Skyline Road. "I saw him walking every day. A real nice man. They were good people. It is just awful what happened here to them."

The Hafners were "wonderful Christian people who were generous to all," said Ann Skar, who owned the mobile home the Hafners lived in.

Across the street from the mobile home, the decades-old house of Skar's father, Albert "Jabo" Ferrell, was obliterated by the storm. Ferrell has been owner and operator of Jabo Construction in Rock Hill for decades.

Ferrell said Thursday that he and his wife, Judy, somehow survived as the house was demolished around them. They were on the sofa in a corner after the tornado ripped through.

"Maybe it is a miracle," Ferrell said. "There is nothing left of the house but the two of us."

McCollum, the neighbor, rushed to the Ferrell home Wednesday after the storm and held up the roof until emergency crews arrived and pulled the couple from the rubble of their home.

"He sure was nice, and I appreciate him doing that for us," Ferrell said. "I just wish that the people across the way were as lucky as us. Real nice people, they were. I lost my house, but they lost their lives.

"You can replace a house, but you can't replace a life."