Today, friends, family and firefighters from all over East Texas said goodbye to Allison Ray at Gladewater High School Auditorium. Allison, who was a Winona Volunteer Firefighter died last week in a car crash just before her high school graduation. For those who came to pay their respects, there was no talk of tragic death, only the tragedy of not remembering the life of Allison Ray.
"In her 18-and-a-half years she fulfilled all the goals she wanted to in life," said Allison's sister, Christine Ray. In a tearful and moving tribute, friends, family and firefighters from all over East Texas came to say goodbye to a young life cut short.
"I've watched her as a kid grow up until she became a junior firefighter with us, so losing one at this age is really tough," said Winona Assistant Fire Chief Tommy Brock.
"It just shows how involved she was in the community, and that, so many people wanted to come out and show their support," says Christine.
"We carry a part of Allison with us everywhere we go," said Christine. A stationary fire bell was rung three times symbolically bringing the fallen firefighter home.
"She packed, so much into her life and she served her community she made a real impact on everyone around her in so many different ways," said Gladewater High School Principal Susie Lambert. Allison's fire helmets were also presented to her parents and Smith County 911 held a last radio call for the firefighter.
"When the last call was made, I think that brought everything into to a reality for all of us and it was just beautiful, we only can imagine what she would have done with the rest of her life," said Lamberts. There was no burial today. Allison was an organ donor and hoped that one day through her death someone else might live.