Pilot News
Plymouth, Indiana
March 22 2006

Friends still remember Andersen's smile best

Jeanette Garbison, a friend of Kristy Andersen’s, shows one of the decals her family had made after Kristy’s death in December, 2005. Kristy’s father, Roy, is now selling the decals at his shop. Pilot Photo/Maggie Nixon

By Maggie Nixon Staff Writer

LaPAZ - Nearly four months have passed since the death of 17-year-old Kristy Andersen, but not a day goes by that LaVille High School students don't think about their lost friend.

“She was always smiling and supportive,” Jeanette Garbison said. “I miss her smile.”

Many juniors and other classes remember Kristy on special occasions and holidays by decorating or placing flowers on her locker at school. Two of Kristy's best friends, Sheena Bingham and Kristin Ortiz, joined Jeanette at school by Kristy's locker after the accident that claimed her life.

“The day after it happened, we came back to school and everyone just stood around her locker,” Garbison said. “People you didn't even know she ever talked to were there with her other friends.”

Several students have made an effort to keep their friends' memory alive, by either making DVDs with photos and songs, T-shirts, key chains or window decals. The money raised from selling these items has gone to help the family with expenses.

“All the kids got different ideas to remember her by,” Donna Garbison said. “It's a tragic loss.”

The Garbisons ordered 300 decals, an idea which Jeanette's mother Donna took from the Fisher family in Plymouth. She saw that after young Josh's death, people had “in memory'” decals on their cars, and wanted to do the same for Kristy. Most of the decals sold immediately, so the family ordered more. They would like the public to know decals are still available, now offered at Kristy's father's shop.

The decals are $5 each and available by stopping in at Roy's Transmission, 13600 W. 5C Road, Plymouth, or by calling 935-5424.

“Those kids have been great,” Roy said of the support his family has received. “It's meant the world to us that they still come around and support us. The kids up there have just been great to us.”

He said the decorating and all the mementos are special. “There's no way of describing it,” he said, about how much his family is missing their girl.

Kristy was a member of Sunrise Chapel in Plymouth, where she was involved in the children's nursery ministry. Pastor Rustin Krapfl at the church said in December shortly after the accident that claimed her life, he had developed a friendship with Kristy. He called her a very loving girl, who helped in the children's nursery at the church. She also occasionally baby-sat for Krapfl's three girls.

“My kids were pretty close to Kristy. She was just real loving, happy and enjoyable to be around,” he said.

Andersen was killed Dec. 9, 2005 when the car she was driving failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign at the intersection of Sycamore Road and U.S. 6.

Two passengers, 16-year-old Justin Whitt of Plymouth and 15-year-old Marcus Bramlett of Lakeville were also in the car during the accident, but escaped fatal injury.

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