Erie, Kansas family forced to scale back funeral for family member because of Coronavirus

ERIE, Kan. – Audra Rush passed away unexpectedly on March 15th from Influenza-A. She was a pre-school teacher for the Erie, Kansas school district and the family had planned to invite as many people as possible to honor her. Now those plans have changed and the family is concerned about how to honor her.

This is Audra Rush. She was just 32 years old when she passed away. “Audra was just a true blessing to so many people, she was one of a kind, she was one of those girls that had a heart of gold, would do anything for anyone at any given point in time.”

Her cousin, Rachele Cosby, says she watched Audra grow into an amazing young woman. “There was no doubt in my mind that girl would not achieve any goal that she set for herself, just like just completing her masters degree this last year.”

But, because of the Coronavirus and limitations on gatherings over 50 in Kansas, they can’t have the funeral they wanted for her. “It just, it breaks my heart because this girl deserves nothing but the best, we’ve had to limit the funeral to just family, and not all the family can even attend.”

But that’s not stopping the Erie community from doing their part, many are circulating on Facebook posts about lining the streets in town the day of her funeral, to show their love. “It’s wonderful, that’s one thing about living in a small community, everybody reaches out to help everybody and they have just done awesome and I think Audra is smiling down on us.”

And Rachele says it’s because of the community they’ve made it through this difficult time. “I just know the family we are all just very grateful for all the teachers coming forward and helping get through this week and what they’ve done and for the community’s support.”

The family is planning on holding a celebration of life ceremony sometime after the Coronavirus concerns have passed.