A Toppenish woman who died after a December crash is being remembered for her love of animals, a contagious smile and a big heart for others.
Kelsey Walker, 21, died Sunday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle from injuries received in a crash Dec. 17 on Plank Road. Her vehicle hit an oncoming pickup in icy conditions as she was heading into work. Her fiancé Dylan Sheehan was driving behind her. They had been engaged three days, said her mother, Cheryl Parsley.
Kelsey was working for Steve Hahn Motors as a social media assistant. She graduated from Eisenhower High School in Yakima.
Ritch Fowler, her uncle, said Kelsey loved animals, especially her Australian collie mix named Scruffy, whom she took with her everywhere.
She loved riding horses, hunting and fishing.
It’s been a difficult time for the family. Her mother was caring for Kelsey in Harborview and her husband at Cottage in the Meadow, a Yakima hospice, Fowler said.
Other members of the family also have been grappling with serious health issues, including Cheryl’s parents and a grandchild who is battling leukemia at Seattle Children’s.
“Kelsey’s been a rock for the family,” Fowler said.
Her mother wrote in an email she is grateful for the overwhelming support the family has received from the community.
“Her life provided a purpose, she was tiny, but so strong, she was the one to stick up for the underdog and would face the toughest person in the room when she felt you wronged someone she loved,” she wrote. “Her smile and laugh contagious, she was funny, quirky, silly but hurt and loved so deeply.”
A funeral service for Kelsey will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Heggie’s Colonial Funeral Home in Toppenish, with a celebration of life to follow at the Satus Event Center. Visitation will be from noon to 4 p.m. Friday at Heggie’s Colonial Funeral Home.
She is survived by her fiancé, Dylan Sheehan of Satus; her father, Tim Walker of Satus; her mother, Cheryl (Kevin) Parsley of Yakima; her grandparents, Buster and Shirley Windsor of Yakima and Judy Walker of Satus; a brother, Corey (Tina) Cook of Yakima and a sister, Shelby Cook of Yakima; nieces and nephews; Ryler and Jaxson Glaspie and Holley and Haley Cook.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family with medical and other expenses.
A spaghetti feed benefit also is planned to help the family at 5 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Sunnyside Eagles.