Mother Greets Pizza Hut Customers in Memory of Heroic Son

“Her son was not there Friday, but Pam Praytor made sure his spirit was, reported the Joplin (MO) Globe. ‘He loved his job,’ she said. ‘He loved the cooking. He loved the driving. That’s why I’m a greeter here today. I wanted to be here for him because he would have been very excited that they have come back.’ From inside the restaurant’s walk-in cooler, 27-year-old Christopher Lucas grabbed a cord or a rope, and tried to hold the door shut against the 200 mph winds of the May 22 tornado. He would lose his life saving others. The tornado flattened the Pizza Hut.”

“Also killed at the restaurant were Gregan D. Sweet, 59, of Joplin; Carolane Collins, 62, of Eagle Rock; Lois Comfort, 66, of Webb City, and Kayleigh Teal, 16, of Pittsburg, Kan., another Pizza Hut employee who was trying to help Lucas. Praytor was on hand Friday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen the Pizza Hut.
 Praytor thought her son was delivering pizza when the tornado struck. She figured he would be able to see it coming and drive out of its way to some place safe. She did not know until later that day that he had been at the restaurant and that his body had been recovered on the parking lot of the Aldi grocery store.”