Kylie's Story

Organ donor Kylie

I want to introduce you to Kylie. To her family and friends she was also known as Ky, KyKy, and (on the softball team she was Vonnie) Kylie was killed in a tragic car accident on July 15, 2012. Kylie was just 17, and would have started her senior year at Westby High School in the fall. 

The day she died was a Sunday, and it was warm and sunny. She was coming home on a road she traveled every day, after spending the weekend away at a family wedding with her boyfriend and his family.

Kylie was a vibrant person, and full of life. She lived every day to its fullest. Her favorite color was pink. Kylie was beautiful inside and out. She had a smile that warmed your heart and made you want to smile too. She was kind, caring and funny. She loved to laugh. She was very social and always enjoyed meeting someone new. In June she attended Badger State Girls where she met many new friends. She enjoyed helping others. Kylie read in our church on Sundays, and was a third grade Sunday school teacher. I remember her telling me many stories about her little class. She talked about how teaching these children helped her to grow as a person.


Kylie was an athlete. She participated in volleyball, gymnastics, softball and cheerleading. She was an honor student and member of the band and poms squad. Kylie loved to dance. Although she wasn't a fantastic singer, she didn't care, and she would sing out whenever she felt the urge.


Kylie was outgoing and fun to be around. She was adventurous and loved roller coasters and thrill rides. She liked to hunt and enjoyed camping and fishing. We spent a lot of time on the river boating and tubing. She loved spending time with her family and going on family vacations. Ky especially loved spending time with her boyfriend, taking road trips to ball games, going to movies, going out to eat, bonfires with her friends, being on the farm and so much more.


Kylie loved to shop and she was good at it. She was classy and stylish. She took pride in who she was and always wanted to present herself at her best. Kylie loved New York City and had been fortunate enough to visit the city twice. The first time was for a band and choir trip with school, and the second was just this past April with her mom, her two aunts and her Grandma. What a fun trip that was! Those memories will be cherished forever.


Ky always wanted to see the ocean, and she had plans for a wonderful future. She wanted to attend UW-La Crosse and major in community health with a minor in nutrition. She hoped for a career where she could work with people. Kylie leaves behind her parents, a brother and sister, her wonderful boyfriend and his family, her Grandmas, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.


It was Kylie's wish to be an organ donor, and as her parents we fulfilled that wish for her. She was able to give the gift of life to two others. Kylie is our beautiful angel in Heaven. She is sadly missed so very much every day by all of those she left behind. We all look forward to seeing her again one day in Heaven.


- Shirley Von Ruden of Chaseburg,

writing about her daughter Kylie