Sarah Strong: Family, friends gather for funeral

By: Associated Press, NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
By: Associated Press, NewsCenter 16 Staff Email

ELKHART, Ind. Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral for an Elkhart teenager who died last week following a months-long battle with cancer.

About 500 friends and classmates of 15-year-old Sarah Crane joined her family at Saturday's funeral service at the California Road Missionary Church in Elkhart. The Elkhart Memorial student died Dec. 7 after battling stage four colon cancer since July.

Sarah's sisters, Jenna and Allyson, paid tribute to her with a tearful version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" while older sister, Kylee, recalled dancing with her sister in the kitchen and painting each other's nails. She told mourners Sarah "had the funniest giggle in the whole world."

The Elkhart Truth reports that after Sarah was diagnosed with cancer, more than 10,700 followers joined the #SARAHSTRONG Facebook group.

Her family called Saturday's snowy weather "a Sarah kind of day".
Her sister, Kylie, read a poem titled "The Dash", and her father gave the eulogy.

“I've been crying, sometimes uncontrollably, at times this week because Sarah's life ended at the tender age of 15,” her father, Dean Crane, said. “And yet I've begun to celebrate my daughter's spirit and cherish the memories because she embraced and embodied life.”

“She was stronger, wiser, braver than I realized. The term ‘Sarah Strong’ does not even begin to describe her... Her impact on my life and our lives is immeasurable.”

“With Sarah's death, I'm afraid that maybe a portion of my heart has died as well,” he added.

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