A newlywed Christian couple who died just minutes after their wedding reception, have been honored in a memorial service that drew 2,000 people.
The young newlywed couple, who were seniors in college, died when the family helicopter carrying them away crashed into hills just a mile from the family farm.
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“Will brought so much positivity and happiness to her life and they were inseparable. We know there are angels among us for they showed up that starry night to fly them to their eternal home. Bailee Raye will be truly missed by all who knew her. Until we meet again there will not be a moment her and Will are not in our hearts with plenty of memories to share,” Bailee’s obituary stated.
“If you knew Will, you knew he loved with every being in his body. He never met a stranger and would do anything for anybody at the drop of a hat. He wore his heart on his sleeve. It shined through the biggest dimples you have ever seen with the sweetest smile. Will was always the life of the party and kept a smile on everyone’s face. Will had so many friends that were near and dear to his heart,” the late groom’s obituary explained.
“When Will met Bailee he was forever changed. She was his saving grace. He knew she was his soulmate from the beginning. Bailee made his eyes brighter and his smile bigger. She was his world and he would do anything to make her happy. Will’s love for the Lord showed in how he loved Bailee. They had a special kind of love. A love that was too perfect for this broken world. Now they will have a perfect marriage and spend an eternal honeymoon together with Our Savior,” it added.
Bailee was the only daughter for her parents while William was his parents’ only son.
A separate funeral was held for Bailee a day. Proceedings at both events were kept private.
Those who were not able to shared their love in different ways in Belleville Square where flowers were placed in front of a store owned by the Byler family. White ribbons were also wrapped around brown poles to remember the couple.
“I think it symbolizes more of what we would … want to portray rather than doing black even though it was such a tragedy. It’s kind of our town’s way of … letting them know we’re lifting them up. And we’re lifting them up in faith. We’re lifting them up in prayer because as we know, that is what is going to get them through this,” Melissa Weiss, who works next to the store owned by Byler’s grandmother, and where his mother also works, told ABC 13.
“It’s just such a tragedy that the other family had to lose their only daughter. This family had to lose their only son,” she added.
Gerald Douglas Lawrence, who federal officials say was a “very experienced” pilot was also killed along with the couple.
Jacob Martinez, who filmed the couple’s wedding and final moments before they would board the ill-fated helicopter, said they were in high spirits during the send-off from family and friends.
–Metro Voice and wire services