Tucson Widow Honors Slain Husband

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Mavy Stoddard was shot in the legs five times during a gunman's rampage on Saturday, Jan. 8 in Tucson, Ariz.  She very likely would have died if not for the actions of her husband, Dorwan Stoddard.

The 76-year-old retired construction worker was killed when he shielded his wife from the gunfire of alleged shooter Jared Loughner.

Through his death, Dorwan gave the world an extreme example of heroism.  His 75-year-old widow wants the world to know about her husband -- a passionate man who loved God, his wife, and his church.

Last Minutes Together

"We both must have had the same idea.  We needed to get down, and we did.  And he came down on top of me," Mavy said as she recalled her husband's heroic actions. "He fell on top of me to save my life - because that's who he was."

She also recounted how she held her husband's head on her lap as he lay dying.

"I somehow got out from under him and sat down flat on the concrete and held his head on my lap and talked to him, first telling him 'To hang in there.  The ambulance was coming," Mavy said.

"But with that type of injury, it's probably better he didn't," she continued. "I didn't realize I was shot until we got to Northwest Hospital."

Childhood Sweethearts

The Stoddards had been 6th grade sweethearts in elementary school.

"I was the first girl he ever kissed," she said. "He had to improve for 50 years in order to get me."

That half a century was spent drifting a part and having many children with other spouses, whom they both lost to death. Then 16 years ago, they found each other again.

"I wouldn't kiss him because I didn't want to get married, and I knew he wanted a wife," she said. "Finally one day, he put a TV cabinet together for me, and I felt I owed him a real kiss."

They were married 15 years ago -- 15 joyful years, according to Mavy.

"He put me in fairy land and made me the princess," she said. 

Forgiving the Gunman

Mavy is able to move about with the use of a walker.  She is still in some pain, but she has been quick to forgive the alleged gunman.

"I don't give hate to this young man," she said. "He ruined a lot of lives, but also ruined his own, and I feel very sad and sorry for him."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.