- July
Posted By : Ava Zinn
Ava Zinn considering making changes following funeral snafu…
Travis Simpkins (1979-2013)
Travis Simpkins (1979-2013)
The last time I had attended a funeral and endured many more weaknesses revealed by several of my friends, the late Frank O’Bannon was governor of Indiana, American Idol was in its first season, and yours truly dealt with two deaths in her family three months apart and forced to find another college/university, that as of July 2013 has not become a reality, to replace Indiana Wesleyan University.
While I was at the wake of the late Travis Simpkins, Here’s my thought when I saw Wendy–I clearly saw a friend with raw emotional pain and knew first hand what that was like when my wife, Angie (Willis) passed in June 2010.
I would have stayed longer, but apparently left somewhat disappointed and at 10:00 on the morning of July 19, 2013 it was CONFIRMED (according to Sheena Fromholz) out of the concern of my safety due to inadequate transportation (I was well aware of the Heat Advisory and was already taking precautions, apparently that may prove to be the case according to long-time friend Ashley Dawson, unfortunately after yours truly biked from Marion to Ivanhoe’s in Upland last August after losing a wager with Jennifer (Tedder) Morris on who won American Idol.)
Unlike many companies that terminate individuals for blowing the whistle–While I was at Mr. Simpkins’ wake, I was alerted from either Ashley (Dawson) and/or Sheena (Fromholz) about what could potentially change the funeral policy of yours truly–should that become the case, those two ladies will get a reward. I was wanting to utilize the six hours, but was asked to leave feeling more disappointed. Many would have believed I was asked to leave because this parallels to a similar situation from Owen Weilert Duncan Funeral Home when my late brother handled my mother’s funeral arrangements, and knew my brother messed them up because he was the next of kin (I had wanted to do a memorial service for my mother and a burial, which did not happen as I was still in deep pain since I was close to my mother until late 1999 when my little 4-legged girl, Tiffani (formerly Timothy Rags) was born.
The BOTTOM LINE is that I am always supporting my good friends and Wendy happens to be one of them, regardless of what Mother Nature plans. I’ve been friends with Ashley and Wendy since 1995 and 1997, respectively, in times of need. Clearly, by the medium response to AVA ZINN, AvaZinn.com, my Facebook page and/or profile, many of you share the grief Wendy is currently going through and is clearly saddened when a spouse passes on. I know first-hand of what that is like first hand and I’m sharing the pain Wendy’s been through as my wife (Angela Willis) died three years ago.
I also understand the concerns whether I was asked to leave due to the heat advisory and my safety, and usually have a plan in action. I also had to factor whether the correct course was really being followed, considering yours truly being one of Mississinewa High School’s strongest  Alumnus (as well as the very first transgender alum), higher expectations year after year, several (nearly 25 percent) of my friends or followers on Facebook and/or Twitter are tied directly or indirectly to Travis. I will assure you that I will be taking a closer look at every single action I am taking to make sure a similar snafu does not happen again.
Near the end of the funeral service, I joked about the fact that I still don’t have my first driver’s license and my driver’s ed teacher was also attending the funeral. But I had the next best thing called bicycle that had traveled nearly 2,700 miles since 2010 and has been to Gas City (many times), Muncie, Wabash, my hometown of Van Buren, Upland, and until a more appropriate time Fairmount. It’s been in three counties (Grant, Delaware, and Wabash.) The last time I checked it was not against the law to go to a funeral or wake via bicycle or even walking, and has never been against the law nor had a problem when I attended the wakes of Nichole Birky in April 2006, Jessica Berg in April 2010, and Ashley Rheam in March 2013.
Once again, thank you again for your support in my work to get you this basic information. I welcome your feedback, phone calls and emails. There is not one that is not important to us. We will continue to investigate every piece of information the public provides us and keep everyone updated in person and online with every development in this possible new policy in honor of the late Travis Simpkins called Travis’ Policy.

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