Community celebrates life of Janis Brown, teen

Posted at 11:10 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 00:10:12-04

A community gathered Tuesday night to celebrate the life of 16-year-old Janis Brown after she was killed Friday night while riding in a car with her brother and sister. 

Brown's best friends organized the vigil to allow those who knew and loved Brown to share their memories of her.

Ciera Boatwright spoke on Brown's ability to make anyone's day and how she was a one-of-kind friend. 

"She hated bad days. And she didn't like when others had bad days. She would sing, dance, do anything to get you to smile," says Boatwright. 

"Any time you saw her smile, you just smiled," says Brown's mom, Carlotta Vaughan. 

Brown's family was moved by the number of people that showed up to Northwest High School to honor Brown, but said they weren't that surprised because she had a great impact on many. 

"At sixteen years to make this many people happy and smiling and just people I don't even know coming up to me on the streets - I was at Wal*Mart today and someone came up to me. We went to get balloons and a woman came and hugged me - I didn't know who she was. But it's beautiful. It's all for Janis," says Vaughan. 

Friends and family asked those attending to write a memory they had of Janis and place it in a jar that they would later give to her mom so she could read all the great memories of her daughter. 

"Every single person had a different experience with her and having something like this really emphasized that and her importance in everyone's life," says friend Marissa Lopez. 

They also released 75 white balloons and 16 purple ones, one purple one for every year she was alive. 

Vaughan says her daughter was an aspiring singer and would not be surprised by how many people showed up because in Janis's mind, she was already famous. 

"If she saw how many people were here today, she'd be pretty excited because they'd all be here for her and she loved being the center of attention," says Boatwright. 

The family is having a public viewing Friday morning at 9 A.M. at Kramer Funeral Home. Janis's mom is inviting all those that would like to say good-bye to her daughter to attend. The funeral will be held Saturday.