Loretta Lynn's Ranch Foreman Dies in Tennessee Flood That Killed At Least 22 Others

·2 min read
Wayne Spears
Wayne Spears

Loretta Lynn Facebook Loretta Lynn and Wayne Spears

Loretta Lynn is mourning the death of her ranch foreman, Wayne Spears.

Spears died in the flood waters that overtook parts of Tennessee on Sunday, according to a Facebook post from Lynn's ranch.

"With the heaviest of hearts we are saddened to report that our beloved foreman Wayne Spears did not survive being swept up in the flood waters," the post read. "Wayne has been a family friend to the Lynns and a fixture to the Ranch for decades and we are all devastated by his passing."

It continued, "The Ranch will never be the same without him but he will always be remembered for his ready smile, kind heart, and willingness to go the extra mile for everyone around him. Eventually we'll rebuild our community, our ranch, our lives and our homes, but only God could build a man like Wayne Spears. There's just no replacing that. May he rest in peace."

RELATED: At Least 15 Dead and Dozens More Missing After Tennessee Floods, According to Officials

Lynn, 89, reposted the statement on her own Facebook page, adding, "There are no words at the ranch today...only tears. Our ranch family is our family."

"We lost my amazing ranch foreman, Wayne in this devastating flood," she wrote. "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."

Tennessee Flooding
Tennessee Flooding

Alan Poizner/AP/Shutterstock

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis told USA Today that Spears had been checking on his barn animals when he was swept away by the flash flood.

As of Sunday afternoon, he was one of 22 people in the Middle Tennessee area who died in the flooding. At least 50 others remained missing, Humphreys County public information officer Grey Collier told CBS News.

Aug 21, 2021; Dickson, TN, USA; Dickson Public Works personnel check the flooding on Old Pond Lane following heavy rainfall on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Dickson, Tenn.
Aug 21, 2021; Dickson, TN, USA; Dickson Public Works personnel check the flooding on Old Pond Lane following heavy rainfall on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Dickson, Tenn.

Josie Norris/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA Tennessee Floods

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In the town of McEwan in Humphreys County, up to 17 inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours over the weekend, breaking the Tennessee record for one-day rainfall by more than three inches, according to the National Weather Service.

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At a Sunday news conference, President Joe Biden discussed the fatal flooding, noting that federal emergency officials will coordinate with the state and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to "offer any assistance they need for this terrible moment."

"I want to begin by expressing my deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life due to this flash flood," he said. "I know we've reached out to the community and we stand ready to offer them support."

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