Public memorial celebrates life, legacy of Hawaii helicopter crash victims

The Sylvee hosted Amy Gannon's public memorial Friday evening.
The Sylvee hosted Amy Gannon's public memorial Friday evening.(NBC15)
Published: Jan. 31, 2020 at 10:21 PM CST
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The community celebrated the life and legacy of a Madison business leader and her teenage daughter, a month after they died from a helicopter crash in Hawaii.

Friday evening, the Sylvee hosted a public memorial honoring Amy Gannon, who was widely known in the community as a nonprofit founder and advocate for female entrepreneurs. Friends remembered the Sylvee as a venue Gannon loved to visit with family.

alongside her 13-year-old daughter Jocelyn. The exact cause of the helicopter crash is still unknown.

Jocelyn attended Hamilton Middle School and is remembered as a gymnast and lover of animals.

“It's really one day at a time right now,” Heather Wentler, a close colleague and co-founder of the Doyenne group, said. “We're all still trying to figure out what comes next after dealing with a loss of this magnitude.”

Family, friends and community members who attended the memorial remembered the ways Gannon touched their lives, big and small.

“She was always pretty much telling me be yourself and... absolutely don’t care about it,” AJ Carr, Gannon’s mentee, remembered. Carr flew from California to speak at the memorial. “She was a really bold and courageous person.”

Guests were invited to wear scarves, which were known to be Gannon’s signature accessory. Wentler also donned a purple scarf that once belonged to Gannon.

In honor of Gannon’s legacy, friends and family created the Amy and Jocelyn Memorial Fund, which can be found

Friends say the fund will help organizations that were important to the Gannons, including wildlife conservation and female entrepreneurship.