July 21, 2012
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
It’s been one week since Amanda de Lange returned home to her Heavenly Father. I know those of us in Nashville have been reflecting on Amanda, with love and gratitude for her life and her work. And from the hundreds of messages posted on her Facebook and sent to StoriesofStarfish@gmail.com, so many of you around the world are doing the same. Please continue sending your stories and memories!
We’re writing with further details about several things related to Amanda, and to answer some questions that have been asked in emails so all can benefit from the information:
Memorial Service and Celebration of Amanda’s Life – Saturday, August 4, 2012
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4300 Hillsboro Road, Nashville, Tennessee, 37215, USA
What to expect: The Memorial Service will begin in the Chapel at 4:00 p.m. under the direction of Bishop Jeff Webber and Relief Society President Sherri Farr and will include music, prayers, remarks about Amanda’s life and her love of her Savior, Jesus Christ, as Amanda requested. Then, we’ll reconvene in the Multipurpose Room at 5:15 p.m. for a continued Celebration of Life, also as Amanda requested. This will include music and video commemorations of Amanda’s life, additional remarks, displays and places to write notes of thanks to the medical teams that provided wonderful care – dinner also will be provided. Guests are welcome to stay and visit with one another. Children are absolutely welcome and encouraged to attend both of these events – the LDS Church is family friendly and has a mother’s room, changing tables in the restrooms, etc. Parking will be available at the Church, and in the lot directly across the street from the Church. If you know for certain that you’re planning to attend the events on August. 4th, please email me at email@example.com as we’re planning food. If you don’t know your plans yet, no problem – please just come! There will be plenty for all!
Travel Information for Nashville, Tennessee
If flying, the Nashville International Airport is airport code “BNA” and serves a full menu of airlines. There is plenty of ground transportation available right at the airport as well: cabs, rental cars, etc.
If driving, Nashville is easily accessible from I-65, going north and south.
Here are three hotels we can suggest – the first two are in the Maryland Farms area of Brentwood, and convenient to restaurants and the Interstate; the last one is in the Green Hills area of Nashville and close to the LDS Church, also convenient to restaurants and the Interstate:
Baymont Inn & Suites
111 Penn Warren Drive
Brentwood TN 37027
Courtyard by Marriott
103 East Park Drive
Brentwood TN 37027
Hampton Inn & Suites
2324 Crestmoor Road
Nashville TN 37215
Remembrances of Amanda
Memorial Contributions / In Lieu of Flowers: It was Amanda’s hope that instead of flowers, those who wish to remember her would make a contribution in her memory to Starfish Children’s Services. You may do this by either going to the website www.thestarfishfosterhome.org/index.apsx and clicking on the orange “Donate Now” box at the top to make a donation online. You will be able to indicate that your donation is “in memory of” Amanda. Or, you may send a check to Starfish Children’s Service, attn: Patrick McLaughlin, Board Chair, 6 West 122nd Street, New York, NY 10027. Make checks payable to “Starfish Children’s Services” and indicate “in memory of Amanda.”
Cards: If you’d like to mail cards or letters of condolence, or other remembrances of Amanda, please mail to attn: Eve Boger, 9481 Foothills Drive, Brentwood, TN 37027
Post-Memorial Celebration – date TBA, either September 13 or 14, 2012
Place: Salt Lake City, Utah
More details will be forthcoming on this celebration. If you have any questions specifically related to this, please email Sherri Farr at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get you in touch with the organizers in Utah.
As you know, it was Amanda’s final wish that a book be written about her life and Starfish babies. Thank you for sending your stories and memories to the email address: StoriesofStarfish@gmail.com and please continue to do so. You may also submit photos and videos here as well. While Amanda was here in Nashville, we met with several writers about her book. We have someone directing the project that Amanda chose, according to her wishes, and her intellectual property will be protected and shared in the way she has directed. We have an intellectual property attorney working on the project as well. We will share more on this at a later date – for now, we want to answer the many questions that have come in about Amanda’s book by assuring you that things are in good hands. We appreciate all of the queries and suggestions of potential contributors and writers. If you have additional information or thoughts to share about Amanda’s book, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll be glad to share with the book’s director.
Amanda de Lange – Obituary
Amanda de Lange, 51, left this Earthly life on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 10:48 a.m. CST surrounding by loving friends in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. She waged a courageous battle against uterine cancer, under the devoted and capable care of medical teams at Centennial Hospital, the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, and Tennessee Oncology Associates in Nashville.
As the Founder and Executive Director of Starfish Children’s Service, operating the Starfish Foster Home in Xi’an, China, Amanda took in medically fragile children from state orphanages in China, nurtured them back to health, provided their necessary surgeries, and prepared them to be adopted into forever families. Amanda and the incredible Starfish team and volunteers accomplished an incredible, loving feat in just seven short years, taking in 168 babies, arranging and funding nearly 250 surgeries, and facilitating 81 adoptions thus far.
Amanda was born March 12, 1961 in Johannesburg, South Africa to Adriaan Erasmus de Lange and Cornelia Etrecia Laing. Her father preceded her in death, and her mother, Etrecia Jacquet, survives her. Also survived by her sister Karen Beeton; brother Chris de Lange (Retha Lubbe); and nieces and nephews Simon Beeton, Lutzio Beeton Parks (Michael), Michael Beeton; and Mekyla Lubbe and Nanushka Lubbe.
Amanda belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which she joined at age 19 in Zimbabwe. She served a voluntary 18-month mission for the Church in South Africa. She was educated at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 1996. She subsequently taught English first in Taiwan and then in Mainland China -- which is where she began volunteering with Chinese orphanages and where the Chinese government granted her a license to open a foster home. Amanda was honored with the “Service to Family” Distinguished Service Award from Brigham Young University in 2009.
When asked what her obituary should include, Amanda said this: "We’ve taken care of 168 babies, we’ve had almost 250 surgeries and 81 adoptions and that, my friend, pretty much sums up my life. Because other than that, what is really important? You boil it down and that’s the triumph of my life.”
We hope to see you in Nashville August 4, or in Salt Lake City September 13 or 14 to celebrate the triumph of Amanda and her life. In the meantime, please contact Sherri Farr at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Looking forward to being together!