BRADENTON, Fla - A memorial service for Sierra Johnson, 17, was held Friday evening at the Woodland Community Church in Bradenton.
The two-hour ceremony included a 60-person choir, multiple bands, excerpts read aloud from Sierra's diary and the retelling of funny memories.
"If Sierra were here, she would say, 'What's up Pastor D,"said Pastor Doug Dierdorf, Sierra's previous youth pastor.
Sierra passed away September 12 from injuries she sustained in a rollover car accident that took place in Pasco County on September 7.
Sierra, along with six other members of Journey Assembly of God Church, were in an SUV when the tire blew out. The SUV rolled over and hit the median. Sierra was ejected from the car. All seven were headed to a Christian rock concert in Orlando.
"This whole thing has been a fresh new reality for a lot of people," said Krys Johnson, Sierra's brother. After speaking, Krys sang a song to his sister.
A senior at Manatee School for the Arts, Sierra would have celebrated her 18 birthday in just two months. Her classmates and teachers remember her as someone who loved to put a smile on other people's face. The teen also liked to sing and dance.
"I heard the news refer to her as Bubbles," said Charles Thomas with the Sarasota Military Academy. "Well Bubbles, we are here celebrating your fabulous life."
Sierra's father was the last person to speak at the celebration. Just as his daughter's dreams of a big birthday party and going skydiving were dashed, the family's future plans were also dashed.
"When I said goodbye... She would never let anyone rub her belly. I rubbed her belly because I knew how much she wanted kids. I wouldn't have grandkids. And, that is a hard thing as a father. You have got it all planned," her father said.
Outside of the church, tables are set up where purple bracelets are being sold for $2. Inscribed in the bracelet is the saying, "This too shall pass." According to a woman setting up the tables, Sierra, her mother and her sister recently had the saying tattooed on themselves.
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