17-year-old Rebecca Townsend knew how to live life to its fullest and her memory continues to provide for the education of low-income girls.
Our hearts go out to the family of Rebecca Townsend, a Connecticut teenager who was killed by saving a life of a friend from oncoming traffic. This beautiful, energetic young lady tragically completed a “bucket list” that she had written to her future self more than two years earlier.
Rebecca Townsend, 17, died on July 2 after being struck by a car in Danbury, Connecticut. A split-second earlier, friends say, she had shoved 17-year-old Benjamin Arne out of the way.
“He said, ‘The last thing I remember is Rebecca pushing me and telling me to hurry up,’ ” Arne recalled afterwards, according to an interview that the girl’s sister, Victoria, gave to Buzzfeed.
After the crash, a high school assignment that the late teen had completed in December 2012 was discovered on her bed by her family.
The “bucket list” of things she wanted to accomplish before dying contained only three items:
“Kiss in the rain,” Rebecca wrote. “Fly to Spain. Save a life (not really scary though).”
The New York Daily News said Rebecca had managed to scratch the first two items off the list in the 2½ years after she first completed the assignment. Sadly, she achieved the third in the final moments of her life.
“Who knows why Rebecca was looking at that letter the night she left us … but I think it’s her little way of telling us she is OK; she accomplished what she needed to; she made it,” said Monica Townsend, another sibling, during her sister’s funeral on July 7 after reciting the list.
“We miss her a lot,” Victoria Townsend told the Daily News this week. “We’re really happy she’s inspiring people, but it’s really hard seeing her face everywhere. We just want her back.”
Before graduating high school, Rebecca helped start a local chapter of She’s the First, a foundation that sponsors education for girls in low-income countries. A crowdfunding page set up by the incoming Class of 2019 at the University of Notre Dame has since raised more than $4,000 for the organization in memory of Rebecca, who would have started classes there in the fall.