LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — During Thursday night’s storms, a Lansing community lost 84-year-old Vernita Payne, “The Captain”, when a tree fell on her home.

“She’s a valuable piece of our puzzle in life. And we lost that little puzzle piece,” said Payne’s nephew, Charlie Dean.

The family also thought that one of Payne’s two dogs, Baby, had died–until they heard a familiar sound Friday night.

“This here is a survivor. He survived the madness that happened last night,” said Dean.

The family heard crying from the house and was able to rescue Baby. Now, they say they have a piece of Vernita back.

Vernita Payne, 84, of Lansing was killed during Thursday night’s storm. (Photo/ Payne family)

“We’re gonna miss this lady; this lady did a lot for us and for this community. This is a neighborhood people should come and see,” said Dean. “These kids over here have been treated well. As a neighborhood, I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Payne leaves behind a huge legacy–the family said she has 95 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and that the memories at her house are endless.

“Every single last one of us have lived and played in that house, slept in that house, played in that park. So we really are a community,” said a family member. “This is over 60 years worth of family, 60 years worth of family.”