Family looks to community for help with Harry Potter themed funeral for 11-year old Kokomo girl

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KOKOMO, Ind. – A Kokomo family dealing with the loss of a daughter is hoping the community can help them to celebrate her life.

Ryana Alexis Nix died Monday due to complications from leukemia. She was 11. Ryana’s mother, Kayla Beatty, says while her daughter still had so much of her life to figure out one thing was clear – she loved Harry Potter.

“She instantly fell in love with it,” said Beatty. “She went through the whole series in just a few months.”

Beatty describes her daughter as someone with an "infectious smile." The type of person that even through her own pain, was always thinking of others.

“She could be going through a really rough chemo treatment but at the same time ask mom are you OK? That was her, that was her personality,” said Beatty.

Of course, throughout it all was Harry Potter.

“When she was going through her treatments, that’s one thing that got her through,” said Beatty. “She always had her Harry Potter books with her.”

To pay tribute to Ryana’s love of Harry Potter, Beatty and the staff at the Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home discussed a Harry Potter theme for her funeral.  To help make the service even more special, the staff at the Sunset Memory Garden thought it might be nice to find a few community members willing to dress up as series characters and be present at her funeral. They quietly put out a request to a local comic book store, which shared the request on Facebook. So far, the post has led to a better than expected response.

“I just cannot believe the outpouring of love from everyone we’ve talked to so far. We’ve got folks that are just wanting to come and support this family” funeral director Melisa Rump said.

Beatty and the Sunset Memory Garden staff are still hoping the request reaches across central Indiana. Beatty says it’s her hope that community members surround her daughter one last time with the world and characters she loved so deeply.

“My hope is that people come and not only learn about Ryana and who she was and get to share in her memory but also share in their love of Harry Potter because that’s what Ryana would want,” Beatty said.

Ryana's funeral is scheduled for Saturday August 18 at 2 p.m. at the Sunset Memory Garden Funeral home. Visitation begins at 10 a.m.  For more information on the services you can click here. 

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