JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) ) -- Grief-stricken friends, neighbors, classmates, teammates and community members filled the street in front of the Bramlage family home Friday night, shedding tears for six lives taken far too soon.
The candlelight vigil honored Ron and Becky Bramlage and their children- 15-year-old Brandon, 13-year-old Boston ,11-year-old Beau and 8-year-old Roxanne, the day after the family was killed in a plane crash on their way home from vacation.
"There are no great words I can say to explain why this happened. The Bramlage family has touched many, many lives both in Junction City and the state of Kansas and around our country for many years," said Junction City Mayor Pat Landes.
"It’s hard to understand. It’s hard to believe that something like this has happened to such a wonderful family. We just hope that God will take care of them and I know that they’re in a better place but we sure do miss them all," Aimee Davis, a family friend, said.
"I pretty sad right now. I just can’t get my mind off of it. It’s a plane crash and you know them pretty well. I just came out to show my respects and offer up my condolences because it's the right thing to do," added Desi Thomas, one of Brandon's former wrestling teammates.
"The Bramlage family were very special people. Ron and Becky I’ve known since I’ve been here. They were just wonderful people. They were just totally, totally devoted to their kids. Their children were just extremely good, kind, respectful, honest kids and they’ll be very missed," Representative Jim Fawcett said of the family.
The Bramlage family died when their plane crashed in a remote area near Lake Wales, Florida Thursday afternoon.
They were traveling from the Bahamas back to their Junction City home in Kansas when the single engine plane went down in a swampy area shortly after noon. Ron Bramlage was the pilot.
Pieces of the aircraft were scattered over a four-mile area in rough terrain.
Five of the family members were found deceased inside their crashed plane Thursday. Crews found the body of 13-year-old Boston Friday afternoon in underbrush in a heavily wooded area.
Authorities said it appears he was not strapped in and was likely thrown from the plane after a wing snapped, causing a gaping hole in the side of the aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board has started its investigation into the crash.
Ron Bramlage was a prominent philanthropist and businessman in Junction City. Becky. Bramlage was the President of the Board of Education for Geary County USD 475.
The couple were graduates of Kansas State University, and members of the K-State Alumni Association, President's Club, Foundation Trustees and Ahearn Fund.
Ron was the grandson of the late Fred Bramlage, a 1935 graduate of K-State and Junction City businessman. Fred Bramlage was the lead contributor to the construction of Bramlage Coliseum, a multi-purpose arena that opened in 1988 and is home to the K-State men's and women's basketball teams.
Funeral services are pending.
Grief counseling is being offered by Geary County USD 475 to students, staff members and members of the community. Counselors will be available Monday and Tuesday from 8:30-12:30 PM at Lincoln Elementary, the Freshman Success Academy and Junction City Middle School.