Ayla Carolann Lankerd, 10, of Marshall, passed away on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in the loving arms of her mom and dad at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor after succumbing to a brain aneurysm.
Ayla was born August 31, 2010 in Marshall to Joshua L. and Amanda L. (Kimball) Lankerd. Ayla just finished 5th grade at Hughes Elementary School. Ayla was a talented and competitive athlete. She was a member of Branch Gymnastics in Battle Creek. She was also a part of the Marshall Soccer Club and Marshall Jr. RedHawks Basketball Club. She was loved dearly by all that knew her. She will be remembered for her quirkiness. Her speed and competitiveness on the field, on the court and in the gym. Her fun-loving attitude. Her sweet, strong, brave and ferocious personality. Her oddball humor. Her constant desire for perfection (maybe that's why gymnastics was her special sport). Her artistic ability. She loved playing with her brothers and cousins, jumping on the trampoline, swimming and painting beautiful pictures. Ayla touched so many hearts in her short 10 years of life. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
She is survived by her parents, Josh and Amanda Lankerd; Two brothers Karson and Konnor; Maternal grandparents Joseph and Carol Kimball; Paternal grandparents Tony and Sue Meredith; Paternal great-grandmother, Mary Keown; Paternal great-grandfather Larry Lankerd; Maternal Aunts Lisa (Gary) Sands and Wendy (Curt) Crow; Paternal Aunt Nickole (Steve) Lankerd; and several dear cousins Andrew (Tara) Johnson (Carson, Amaiyah, Andee and Harleigh), Bray Johnson, Cade Johnson, Wyatt Crow, Emma Crow, Lucas Crow, Alyza Shea and Stevie Shea. She was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather Jeffrey Lankerd; Maternal great-grandparents, Warren and Lillian Kimball and Clifford and Maxine Lee; Paternal great-grandfather Bill Keown and Paternal great-grandmother Mary Lankerd.
Visitation will take place from 3-8pm on June 17, 2021 at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services located at 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068. Funeral services celebrating her life will take place on June 18, 2021 at 1pm at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services. Interment will follow at Lyon Lake Cemetery in Marshall. Family and friends will gather following the committal service at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services Reception Hall.
The family is encouraging everyone to bring a painted rock with them or drop them off at the funeral home to be added to the family's memorial garden. Anyone who wishes to celebrate and honor Ayla's beautiful life may make a contribution to the Marshall Community Foundation for a future scholarship in Ayla's memory. Contributions may be mailed to Kempf Funeral Home, PO Box 519, Marshall, MI 49068 or the Marshall Community Foundation. Leave a personal message for the family, sign the online guestbook, and watch the funeral service at https://www.kempffuneralhome.com.