Hundreds Pay Final Tribute to Amanda Franklin
June 9, 2011 — Hundreds of colleagues, friends, and family members of Amanda Younkin Franklin gathered at First Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 7, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to celebrate her life, which ended far too soon at the age of 25 following her 10-week struggle to recover from severe injuries sustained in a March plane crash at the Air Fiesta air show in Brownsville, Texas.
After a beautiful church service, which concluded with a touching video dedicated to Amanda, mourners went to Memorial Gardens Cemetery, where more than a dozen homebuilts, biplanes, warbirds, and other airplanes flew overhead. The flyby concluded with the traditional tribute to fallen aviators - the missing woman formation. The pull-up plane, Amanda’s brother Matt Younkin’s Twin Beech, was piloted by Matt’s best friend, Jimmy Beckford.
Kyle posted the following message to Amanda’s Caring Bridge website on Wednesday:
Amanda's service was beautiful yesterday. I want to thank all of you who came out to see her off and all that were there in spirit. It was truly humbling to have so many people show up and fly for her. Thank you.
I have been offline for most of the past week preparing things for Amanda and am now trying to catch up with things online. Thank you all for your continued kind words and support. It is a comfort seeing how many people's lives Amanda and I have touched in one form or another over the years. Doing what we do, you never quite realize how big of an impact you can have on people. We are just doing what we love.
It is nice to be home however the house feels very empty even with the four dogs. This is the house Amanda and I bought together, worked in and had planned on starting a family in. At this point I'm not sure what to do next. I think I'm going to take the next few months off from everything and work on some of my projects around here to keep my mind occupied until I decide what my next move is. I do know I will return to airshows at some point, I have to admit I do miss it even now. Flying airshows and entertaining is what I know and what I love to do. Amanda and I had many more ideas for future airshow seasons, some I am planning on continuing with but my life just isn't the same without my beautiful girl by my side.
Again, thank you all for your kind words, prayers, donations, friendship and support over the last three months. I truly am thankful to have had all of you there through this. I want to send a special thank you to all of you who sent me info for possible treatments to help Amanda. All of us including her doctors are much more knowledgeable on burns and burn treatments thanks to you all. I feel everything we have learned will definitely save the life of someone in the future.
Goodnight and God bless,