Sydnee Owens, 14

Sydnee Faith Owens, 14 of Aurora, went to her eternal home Nov. 30, 2012, after a courageous 6 1/2-year battle with cancer. A Celebration of Life was Dec. 4 at the Monroe E-Free Church near Phillips. Family and friends were encouraged to wear pink in honor of Sydnee’s favorite color. Rev. Marshall Erickson officiated. Interment was at the Aurora Cemetery.Sydnee Faith Owens was born July 10, 1998, in Lincoln. She grew up in Aurora attending Hampton Lutheran School until she was diagnosed with HLH, a rare blood disorder and stage 4 lymphoma following completion of first grade. Sydnee also endured two bone marrow transplants and GVH disease.Sydnee loved to clog, play sports, ride her bike, and swim. She also loved to play games and do crafts.Sydnee was the most giving child. At a young age she would take all her birthday money to buy gifts for her siblings or donate to church. Her love and concern for others continued through her sickest of times. Sydnee spent her own money to buy gifts and make gift bags for other transplant patients after her bone marrow transplant in 2008.Her love for her brothers’ native land, Haiti, was always on her heart. Sydnee spearheaded a foundation called “Wells for Haiti”. Her sisters joined in her efforts to make money through the sales of bookmarks and key chains. They raised over $15,000 before Nov. 30.Throughout her 6 1/2-year journey, Sydnee never lost faith in her Savior Jesus Christ who was the love of her life and her best friend. Even in her darkest days Sydnee showed everyone around her, through her smile and loving spirit, the HOPE, JOY, PEACE, and LOVE they could have in knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.Those left to cherish Sydnee’s memory are her dad, Nicholas Owens; mom, Nicole (Beitel) Owens; sisters, Kaitlyn 16, and Grayce 12; brothers, Mackenson, 9, and Kendrik, 7, all of Aurora; grandparents, Bert Owens of Alma, Dennis and Kathy Johnson of Comstock, Larry and Sonja Beitel of Sargent; great-grandparents, Lyle and Maxine Teel of Central City, Raymond Owens of Arcadia, and Ola Jean Danielson of Lincoln; aunts and uncles, Candi and husband Will Kirwan and daughters, Alana, Jamie, Tristan and Karson of Comstock; Dustin Owens and wife Shonda and children Alex and Emily of Wylie, Texas; Bodie Owens and wife Arianne and children Thor and Calista of Omaha; Hallie Johnson of Kearney; Jeffery Beitel and wife Cindy and children Isaac and Ellianna of Elkhorn; Natalie (Beitel) McCawley and husband Mike and children Peyton and Presley of Omaha; second cousin Emmitt; special friends Ryan and Vanessa and daughter Natalie of Omaha; Joe and Jill Sandmeier and son Jake of Aurora; Cal and Sara Strong and son Conner of Aurora; Jared and Mickey Tomich; and her beloved doctor Don Coulter.Sydnee was preceded in death by great-grandparents, Clarence and Rose Beitel, Vance Danielson and Mary Ann Owens; grandpa, Richard Owens; and friend, Alyssa Sandmeier.Memorials may be made to Wells for Haiti or to the family for future designation.Published in Custer County Chief, Jan. 3, 2013