Donor pays funeral costs of accident victim |

Donor pays funeral costs of accident victim

by f.t. Norton
Appeal staff writer

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Charlett Fortner holds a picture of her daughter Christiana Crowder before she was killed in a car accident. Crowder's funeral costs were paid by an anonymous person, which totalled more than $10,000.

DAYTON – Since the death of her 22-year-old daughter, Charlette Fortner and her family have struggled with not only the loss of Christiana, but with the worry of how they would pay for her funeral. The bill was enormous.

Then, in the depths of that grief, a gift came Fortner’s way that she can only describe as heaven sent.

“Our client wishes to remain anonymous, but was very moved by your loss and wanted to assist your family,” read a letter to Fortner dated June 21 from a Carson City attorney. “A check in the amount of $10,732.69 has been mailed to the funeral home this afternoon and will pay that debt off in full.”

Fortner stared at the letter Friday, trying to wrap her mind around the offer.

“Can you imagine? They paid the whole bill,” the Dayton mother said in a whisper. “How can somebody be so kind? It’s amazing. It took a great burden off our shoulders. I hope someday I can move a whole family’s heart.”

Christiana Lea Crowder, 22, was killed when she was ejected during a rollover June 3 on Lakeview Hill. The driver survived, as did Christiana’s puppy, Jack.

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Upon hearing the news, friends and strangers did all the could for Fortner.

They brought food, raised $500 for the funeral, covered her bartending shift at Old Fogy’s, sent flowers, and cried with her. A feed store owner donated vaccinations for Jack when Fortner went in to buy them.

The outpouring was unbelievable.

“It makes you think there is a God and there is a heaven, and there are really good people with big hearts,” she said.

With the funeral paid for, Fortner will use the $500 to give Christiana a proper headstone. On it will be a picture of her daughter so Christiana’s 4-year-old son, Kalob, can see his mother’s face when he visits her grave.

When the accident first happened, Fortner said she was sorry she’d ever moved to Nevada.

“Now, how will I ever leave? How can you leave such good people?

“If I’m ever in a situation to help anyone, I will in any way I can. I just want to say thank you,” she said.