Effingham Daily News
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday to remember Ashla Owens, who died Monday.
More than 60 friends, family members, neighbors and supporters attended the vigil at Community Park, where memories prayers and regrets were shared.
“There are so many of us and we’re all hurting in different ways,” said Lauren Logsdon, a friend of Owens who organized the event. “I wanted to do something outside so she could still see our light and our love for her.”
Family members shared their memories of a girl who was hoping to have a new start on life. Owens was planning to attend Parkland College in Champaign to study nursing.
“She was ecstatic,” said Wes Osborn, Owens’ grandfather. “She had heard that she could have a job at the hospital after she got back and she had just bought a set of red scrubs. She was so excited.”
Logsdon said Owens had a memorable personality and was one of her best friends.
“She was the most outgoing person,” Logsdon said. “She was always smiling and she would never lie to you. She wasn’t afraid to make enemies but by the end of the night, you were her best friend.”
Logsdon said the days since Owens’ death have been extremely difficult.
“It’s been a nightmare,” she said. “I still can’t believe it. Every morning, I wake up and look at my phone and think she’s texted me. It’s brought people together that you never would have thought would come together. We all still think we’re going to see her. Everyone’s just waiting to wake up from a bad dream.”
Through memories of childhood, regrets and prayers, it was Owens’ smile that was remembered more than anything else.
“She lit up the room,” said Lynn Quandt, Ashla’s mother. “She’s Ashla. She’s the one and only.”
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Hall Funeral Home chapel in Effingham. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.