McLoud teen Kaylen Thomas was laid to rest Friday, one week after she was found shot in a home.
The young woman’s funeral and memorial services were held at the McLoud High School gymnasium, where Kaylen spent time participating in basketball and other sports.
Kaylen’s coach, Doug Armstrong, gave a heartfelt speech.
“I thought it was a fitting tribute to a great young lady. Obviously, the stories you hear, the smile you see, just a tremendous kid who will dearly be missed,” Armstrong said.
Kaylen, 16, was shot inside a McLoud home not far from her school last week.
She died in the hospital shortly after.
Two teens, including a fellow McLoud student, are locked up awaiting charges for Kaylen’s death.
However, Friday’s ceremony was about celebrating Kaylen’s life. Guests wore her favorite colors, blue and purple.
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“I think in the long run that’s what people are going to remember about Kaylen. They’re going to remember her joyful spirit and her laughter and her smile, and that will be what carries on about Kaylen,” McLoud High School Principal Rhonda Hockenbury said.
The Thomas family now has a memorial fund set up for donations through BancFirst and GoFundMe.
Principal Rhonda Hockenbury says shes’ been in contact with the family constantly.
“They’re very saddened by their loss, but at the same time, throughout the week there’s been a lot of laughter and a lot of celebration of her life,” Hockenbury said.
No matter how special Friday’s celebration was, school leaders say they hope it’s the last memorial they need to have for a student.
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“I hope this is my one and only. It’s easy to talk about the good ones but I definitely don’t want to talk about them in this regard,” Armstrong said.
Click here if you would like to donate to the GoFundMe account in Kaylen’s name.