Communitypays tribute

Published on Thu, Mar 9, 2006 by ara Nelson

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Community pays tribute

By Tara Nelson

Tears and a bit of laughter were shared as more than 1,000 people attended a joint memorial service for Kailey Walter and Brittney Armstrong at the Blaine Performing Arts Center Tuesday night.
More than a dozen large floral bouquets lined the PAC stage and portraits of the girls stood framed with hundreds of flowers.

A standing room only crowd was diverted into the school’s cafeteria with a live sound feed.

School officials estimated the number of people in attendance was about 1,200 to hear testimonies from the girls’ families and friends.
The girls died in a three-car crash on Interstate 5 on February 28 after returning from cheering on the Blaine boys’ basketball district qualifier in Mount Vernon against Meridian high school.

Kailey’s grandfather Don Walter spoke first, recalling occasional funny moments in their lives together.

“I know you don’t remember, but after you were born, the following Sunday I announced to the church that I had a granddaughter and her name was Bailey,” he said. “And your grandmother signaled, ‘It’s Kailey!’

“Then there was that night you stayed at grandpa and grandmas house and a raccoon looked in the window,” he said. “And from that time on, you thought grandpa and grandma’s house was spooky.
“Kailey, we miss you, we’re going to miss you, especially on your birthdays and Christmases,” he said.

“And Kailey, if it’s all right with you, we’ll go ahead and have your birthday party, and we’ll let Krista open your presents.”

“We all knew Kailey was very opinionated, loud and a big dreamer and the most beautiful girl in the world,” said her older sister Krista-Lena Crane. “But she also had a maturity beyond her years.”Brittney’s sister, Megan Armstrong, spoke about their friendship.

“You are my sister and my best friend,” she said. “We could talk about anything for hours. I’m never going to realize you’re gone because you were there every single day of my life.”

Several of the girls’ friends also took turns speaking and supporting each other as they sometimes got choked up on stage.

“Brittney had a calm and soothing nature that made her easy to spend all those years with,” one friend said.

“We had a great time together, whether it was hanging out with the group or taking off together for a day trip to go lay in the sun. She will always be with us in our hearts.”

Brittney’s boyfriend Craig Rothwell spoke surrounded by several of his friends, all of whom were dressed in red, Brittney’s favorite color.
“She was my best friend, my soulmate and the love of my life,” he said. “That will never change.”

Kailey’s family invites friends to share their thoughts and memories in the online memorial guestbook at

Individuals may also share thoughts and memories of Brittney at (click on Bayview Chapel).

Jynifer Trennepohl and Colby Lachner share tears and stories about their late friend Brittney Armstrong. All of Brittney’s friends wore red, Brittney’s favorite color.
From left: Kailey’s brother-in-law Chris Crane, sister Krista-lena (Walter) Crane, and parents Cindy and Tim Walter.
The Northwood Alliance Music group peformed during the ceremony, surrounded by dozens of flower arrangements.