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Community remembers Ava Lizotte
Friends and family fondly share memories of 11-year-old who died in December

Robin Grant
Northern News Services
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A large, sombre crowd gathered in the Sir John Franklin High School gym on Saturday afternoon to bid farewell to 11-year-old Ava Lizotte.

The former Range Lake North School student died unexpectedly from a suspected blood infection in December.

During the service, Range Lake counsellor Yasemin Heyck, who knew Ava since she was in kindergarten, gave a speech about how well liked she was at school.

"Several of Ava's close friends shared their memories with me and I was left with the feeling that Ava was indeed a great friend to have - especially if you are someone who likes to laugh and have fun," she said.

"Ava's teachers remember her as a hard worker who always gave a hundred percent, and she was focused and passionate about her work. She was a student who would put her own spin on things and when she handed in her piece of writing, it was never just written in pencil but also outlined in bold and colourful markers. The word colourful came up a lot and of course, that extended to the many different hair colours that she sported and always looked so good in. It was abundantly clear that Ava was highly creative and a talented artist."

Lifelong family friend Sarah Erasmus also spoke at the ceremony. She talked about Ava's love of art and the funny things she did to convince her parents to take on new, albeit messy crafts.

"She always had a craft that she wanted to try out that she saw on YouTube," Erasmus told the audience. "She asked her mom, 'Can I make this new goop?' Everything that she made was a sparkly mess and her mom would say, 'No, not right now Ava. Maybe later.' And then as soon as her mother would leave the house, 'Daddy, can I make this new craft?' And would just leave out the minor details of how messy it would be. And he'd say, 'Oh, I guess so.' Then her mother would come over and say, 'Ava I told you not

to.' 'Well, daddy said I could!' She wasn't wrong there."

After her speech, Erasmus told Yellowknifer the ceremony gave the community a chance to say a last goodbye and show support for the family.

"Ava had a lot of friends and family and loved ones so it was good to all be together," she said.

"I know her parents are thankful for the everyone's support and help that they have been getting the past month and they just want to say thank you again to everyone."

After the ceremony, a reception at the school foyer served all of Ava's favourite food, including Nutella sandwiches, chocolate fudge sundaes, fresh popcorn, bologna sandwiches, bannock and rainbow-coloured cupcakes.

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