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Iowa high school artist recreates treasured photo lost in December tornado

After losing a photo of a fallen sailor in Iowa's largest ever tornado outbreak, a high schooler created a replica for the family.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 8:16 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON, Iowa (KCCI) - After losing a photo of a fallen sailor in Iowa’s largest ever tornado outbreak, a high schooler created a replica for the family.

The photo of Joseph Richardson was lost in a storm near Barnum in Webster County last December.

Following his death in 2009, Richardson’s squadron sent his sister, Danelle Lenz, the specially-designed image.

It has not been found in the five months since the tornado.

Jayden Carstensen is an accomplished artist who is a high school senior in Jefferson.

“I just saw it on the news, and I was sad, so I figured, I couldn’t find it, but I could draw a replacement, so that’s what I could do,” Carstensen said.

He created a replica of the image using colored pencils and charcoal.

Carstensen and Lenz, who don’t know each other, then met recently for the reveal and exchange.

“I didn’t expect it to look so much like the original, but it’s amazing,” Lenz said.

The work was a masterclass, but Carstensen wanted to give away the framed original to provide some restoration to a family which lost such an important memory.

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