Funeral for family killed in FL plane crash | News
Junction City, KS (KCTV) -- A Kansas couple and their four children who died in a Lake Wales, Florida plane crash were laid to rest Monday, as many in the small community said it could take them years to recover from the loss of such a beloved family.
More than 2,000 people filled the auditorium at Junction City Middle School during an emotional funeral Mass for Ron and Becky Bramlage of Junction City and their four children. The family's death has many still shaking their heads in shock.
Photo Gallery: Deadly Lake Wales plane crash
During the ceremony, a priest with the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church pointed out that so often people act like phonies, but each member of the Bramlage family was never afraid to just be themselves. And those who knew them agree.
"Full of joy, full of smiles, just extremely heartfelt," Deb Gustafson said.
The family died when their plane crashed June 7 in Florida while they were on their way home from the Bahamas. The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the crash.
Friends of the family, classmates of all four children, as well as people stretching from surrounding states gathered Monday to remember a family that has given so much to local industry and education.
Outside the family's home, people continue to leave flowers to pay respects to a family that has had a positive impact regionally and nationally with their business development and philanthropy.
"They invested in a lot of school things and a lot of arts things, and I am a big fan of the arts, so when they supported the arts, that was supporting some of the things I love," Junction City resident Seth Heflin said.
Fred Marrill of Kansas City has done business with and knows Ron Bramlage and the family. Marrill said nobody will completely fill the void left by this loss.
"Ron was always, he was just such a great personality, always had a great, kind word to say to all kinds of different people. He had a suite next to my parents' suite in the football stadium at K-State and he was always nice to my parents and anybody that was there, so really, just a good person," Merrill said.
Ron Bramlage is remembered all over the nation for his business prowess and support of athletics at all levels. In attendance at the funeral service, Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder said the K-State family lost dear members.
"The Bramlage family has meant a great deal to me and to Kansas State University an just an absolute tragedy to lose an entire family like that," Snyder said.
Remembered for their smiles and genuine personalities, classmates of the four Bramlage children also come to remember them. The loss has many in Junction City believing the void won't ever be fully filled.
"With a family going like that, there is always going to be a void. They were active in so many different things," Kaye Deam said.
The surviving family is planning a private burial in Junction City.