The Main Stream

Jan 9, 2011 10:05 PM

Pastor: Dorwan Stoddard takes bullet to save wife

TUCSON - The age range for the victim's involved in Saturday's shooting went from as young as 9 years old to people in their 70's.

76-year-old Dorwan Stoddard was one of five killed at the scene. His wife, Mavy, was by his side. She was shot three times but is expected to make a full recovery.

The Stoddard's pastor is Michael Nowak from Mountain Avenue Church of Christ. He said the Stoddard's were just an amazing couple. They were friends since grade school who got married late in their lives. He said they were extremely faithful, very active in the church but like the other victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For the Stoddard's the day started like any regular Saturday. Nowak said they were on their way to breakfast when they decided to stop by Gabrielle Giffords' ‘Congress on the Corner' meeting.

Nowak said, "She just wanted to meet her and tell her what a good job she was doing and that she was very proud of her."

But they never made it as shots rang out while they were waiting in line.

Nowak said, "When the gun shots went off Dorwan knew they were gun shots and he pulled her down and landed on top of her. He took the shot in the head and she got the shots in the leg. I want to say she survived because he fell on top of her."

Not only a heroic act, but one that is an example of true love.

Nowak said, "He did what most husbands would do when their wives are in danger. He threw himself on the grenade for her."

The pastor said Dorwan will be greatly missed but never forgotten. In fact, a room he built in the church for the kids is already named after him it's called "Dory's Room."

Nowak said, "We're all suffering. We're all going to miss them dearly and we just can't erase that, but I think as a whole for those who knew Mavy and Dory especially knew him as an honorable man. In time, we'll all get through it."

Mountain Avenue Church of Christ held their regular services Sunday with a special emphasis put on the loss of Dorwan Stoddard and all of those affected by the tragedy in Tucson.

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