Community gathers to remember Karlie


Community members remembered Karlie Breeden at a Saturday event. Photo by John Lindblom.


COBB More than 200 people gathered in Cobb on Saturday at a place not far from the home of Karlie Breeden, who died on March 1 of an inoperable brain tumor.

The memorial for Karlie included prayers, verbal remembrances of the much-loved daughter of David and Renada Breeden, a seemingly inexhaustible stream of videos and slides of the lively little blonde, and even the singing of Karlie's favorite Christmas song, "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer," by all in attendance.

The amazingly large crowd included neighbors, friends, relatives and many others who had kept the vigil for Karlie through her illness, diagnosed in April 2006. There were numerous children.

Karlie's shoes in front of her photo lent a somber note and there were tears. Among them were those of grief-stricken Kyle Gibson, a 9-year-old neighbor and playmate of Karlie's, being comforted by his mother, Jen.

"They were growing up together," Jan Gibson explained.

Other parents, with their own tots of Karlie's age, such as Jill Pressley of Sonoma with her 3-year-old daughter Emma, showed their empathy for David and Renada in their loss.

The Breedens, though, had not intended the memorial for their daughter to be a wholly sad affair.

And, indeed, as they remembered the wiles and antics of this 4-year-old girl, more than a few people laughed.

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Above left, David and Renada Breeden, Karlie's parents. Above right, Jan Gibson comforts her son, Kyle, 9, who was one of Karlie's friends. Photos by John Lindblom.