Archive for Wednesday, October 27, 1999

Tonganoxie seventh-grade student sang at funeral

October 27, 1999

"When Rikki Bohanon learned of the murder of Pamela Butler, 10, Kansas City, Kan., she wanted to do something to help the family.

She decided to sing.

Rikki had already known of Pamela Butler through her cousin, Robin, in Armourdale, who lived near Butler.

Rikki talked to her family about singing at the funeral, and after her uncle had contacted the family, Rikki called Butler's mother, Sherry West, and asked if she could sing at the funeral.

"She said I could sing any song that I had in my heart to sing," Bohanon said.

In her heart was the song, "The Heart Will go on," sung by Celine Dion, for the movie Titantic.

"It's a song I already knew and in my heart it says how I felt about Pamela," Rikki said.

Rikki's grandmother, Janet Bohanon, Tonganoxie, said she was proud of Rikki's initiative.

"I know of few children who would look up the phone number of someone they didn't know and ask if they could sing at her daughter's funeral," Bohanon said.

Rikki's father, Rick Bohanon, Tonganoxie, said he was surprised at his daughter's idea.

"She just had so much courage," he said. "And she really wasn't that nervous. She just wanted to sing, first for Pamela, and secondly for her family. She just wanted to do whatever she could do.

"She can sing."

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