Brianna Carrasco remembers her mother, Brenda Carrasco, as a kind-hearted soul who was always there for her and her three siblings. She knew she could depend on her mom for anything.
“She was supportive, she was always there for us, very caring. She was our go-to person,” Brianna said. “She was loving and forgiving, and we were her world, so she would do anything for us.”
Kansas television station KAKE reported that Brenda Carrasco and her fiancé, Raymond Kennedy, were driving through Kansas on the morning of July 26 when their vehicle struck a cow and rolled multiple times. Brenda and Raymond died at the scene.
Brianna mentioned that at the time of the collision, their dog was in the vehicle. The dog has not yet been located, and the family is still trying to find him.
“We’re just looking for him. He’s serviced, and he was very important to my mom and Ray, and we just want to know that he’s found,” she said.
Brianna said Brenda and Raymond were traveling to Nebraska for one of Brenda’s work assignments when the crash happened. Brenda worked in health care for many years and had a passion for taking care of people. Brenda worked as a traveling certified nursing assistant.
“She loved making anybody’s day better. Not only did she work in CNA, but she also took care of my great grandmother, so her grandmother, and then she also took care of her mother and father before they passed,” Brianna said. “She was always taking care of everybody, and everyone loved her. They loved when she was working.”
Brianna said her mom had an incredible, recognizable smile.
“She was awesome. She was everybody’s light, I guess I could say,” she said. “She lit the room, every room she went into. Her smile was amazing. Everybody loved her smile. A lot of people called her the ‘angel’s smile.’”
Along with her smile, Brianna will also always remember her mother’s laugh and style.
“Between her smile and her laugh, she wore a lot of jewelry, so she was very blingy all the time. … Every time we saw anything with lots of rhinestones or pink, or really, really girly, we all thought of my mom,” she said.
Brianna said that angels and butterflies remind her of her mom as well.
Brianna said her mom grew up in a small town in Boyce City, Michigan, before moving to Arizona and graduating from Paradise Valley High School. She later moved to Peoria. Brenda went on to have four children and 15 grandchildren, all of whom had a special place in her heart.
Brianna said her mom met Kennedy a couple of years ago. Brenda and Raymond became engaged and were planning on getting married in December. Raymond was a Glendale resident and lived not too far away from Brenda. He also recently beat cancer.
“They loved each other, they didn’t go anywhere without each other,” Brianna said.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by Raymond’s family, he has eight children, loved the Dallas Cowboys and enjoyed riding his motorcycle. He loved being outside and spending time with his family and friends.
“There isn’t a single person that knew Ray that doesn’t have a story, or fond memory of this man,” the GoFundMe page reads. “He was one of a kind and his smile could brighten up any room.”
Brianna said that Raymond and her mother went through a lot together, and he became very close to everyone in their family.
“He always told us that he would take good care of our mom and her grandkids. … All the kids call him grandpa. … Well, my mom was just going through a lot when she met him, so he stuck through a lot for her,” she said.
The couple traveled often for Brenda’s job, and in their free time they loved to be outdoors, whether it be going to the lake, hiking or driving Brenda’s Jeep.
Brianna said one of her favorite memories of Raymond and her mom was at a family birthday party.
“We were at my sister’s house. I didn’t plan on swimming, but it was a swim party and me and my sister-in-law were sitting on the outside of the pool and Ray and my mom, and all of my nieces and nephews started chasing us with water guns as we were running inside the house,” she said.
Anyone interested in helping the families can donate. Brenda’s GoFundMe can be found at gofund.me/30c72698. Raymond’s GoFundMe can be found at gofund.me/ed350803.