SEQUIM — Family, friends and community members remember Brooke Bedinger for her love of family, always uplifting others and being a person people could rely on.
The 19-year-old Sequim resident and 2016 Sequim High grad died June 21 in a motorcycle and vehicle collision on U.S. Highway 101 near Port Angeles.
A fundraiser will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Rainshadow Cafe, 157 W. Cedar St., in Sequim, during the venue’s open mic night; all the tips generated from the event will go toward Brooke’s funeral and arrangement expenses.
A closed casket viewing was open to the public Wednesday at Harper-Ridgeview Funeral Chapel, 2805, 105 W. Fourth St., Port Angeles.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at Lighthouse Christian Center, 304 E. Viewcrest Ave., in Port Angeles and procession will follow at Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave., Sequim, where the event will finish with a reception and celebration of life.
Kim and Donald Bedinger said their daughter loved her family and spending time with them as well as her Hooligans biker family.
“I want everyone to know what a loving, amazing soul she had and what an amazing person she was,” Kim Bedinger said.
“Her hobby was family,” she said. “She was very passionate about her family.”
Brooke’s cousins Tristi Kienholz, 22, and her sister Andrea Kienholz, 20, said the three of them were close from when they were young up until present.
Tristi said that she and Brooke were “two peas in a pod” and considered her a little sister.
“She was so full of life always” Tristi said.
Andrea said the three of them shared sisterly bonds and she was especially close with Brooke as they are the same age and went through both middle and high school together in Sequim.
“No matter what, Brookie was positive and uplifting for everyone else,” she said. “It was never a dull moment with her and we always had something to talk about.”
Family members said Brooke was planning to attend Peninsula College in the fall to earn credentials to be a medical assistant. She also had a passion for music, family say, and she was a part of the Sequim High School Choir all four years of high school.
“She wanted to accomplish a lot in life,” Tristi said.
Brooke also was known to love country music, have barbecues, go swimming and camping and getting together with her friends and family.
“She was very, very loved,” Tristi said.
Brooke also was a member of the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula for about 10 years and staff say they remember her time there.
Luke Kisena, a club teen room staff of eight years who knew Brooke when she was a club member, said Brooke was a natural born leader.
“She would always be the helping hand and she never complained when asked to help with things,” Kisena said.
He also said Brooke was a good friend to many club members.
“She was the person her friends confided in,” Kisena said.
Janet Gray, club resource development director, said over the years Brooke would pop into her office from time to time to say hello and catch up. Gray said she often talked about her love of music and her involvement with Sequim High Choir.
“We were lucky at the club to have known Brooke and to have spent some time with her,” she said. “I took a liking to Brooke and she’d visit me in my office and keep me posted on what was going on in her life.”
Brooke is survived by her mother and father, brothers Chase Bedinger and Donald Bedinger, sister-in-law Katy Bedinger along with other family members.
A lantern vigil was held at Ediz Hook in Port Angeles on Friday and family said it was well attended.
“She would have loved it,” Tristi said.
Her family said any money left over after the fundraising will be used to start a fund or to do something in Brooke’s honor that will carry on for years to come. Kim said Brooke also will have a marker with some ashes out at Mount Angeles Cemetery in Port Angeles.
For more information or to support the Bedinger family, visit www.gofundme.com/b-bedinger.
Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].