Aria Alaniz Gatzlaff
Elm Ridge Funeral Home & Memorial Park
4600 W Kilgore Ave
Muncie, IN 47304
Aria Alaniz Gatzlaff

MUNCIE - Aria Alaniz Gatzlaff was born into this world on January 12, 2011. There was considerable doubt whether she would survive, with anomalies in virtually every organ system.

With the ferocious love of her parents, Kevin and Rachael and her older sister, Daisy, and the help of a team of heroes including several outstanding doctors and her intervener Paulette Jones, she thrived, and outperformed every expectation anyone ever had for her. She was an inspiration to many and brought joy to everyone she met.

Although living with multiple severe disabilities including deafblindness, Aria experienced the world vibrantly. She rode horses. She loved the school bus and Miss Nikki's class at Storer Elementary. She zipped around the house in her gait trainer (not minding crashing into the walls). She was enthralled by bright lights, and especially by fireworks. Like most little girls, she was fascinated with the princesses at Disney World. She was enraptured by the sound of her mother's beautiful singing voice, and loved bouncing along to her daddy's 80's hair band rock and roll music. Her smile was like none other in the world, and she showed it often and enthusiastically.

Tragically, Fanconi Anemia has no cure. Aria was always living on borrowed time. On September 6, Aria was admitted to Riley Children's Hospital in severe bone marrow failure, with an internal bleed that no amount of transfusions could stem. She was discharged into hospice care on September 11, and spent the rest of her life pain-free and comfortably at peace, surrounded by her family's love. On September 20, 2015, she passed away while holding her daddy's hand.

We are thankful to have been entrusted with the care of a little girl who showed us the very best in so many people. The amount of support shown by friends and family during this difficult time has been tremendous. This experience has reminded us of the most important truth there is: To love another person is to see the face of God.

Visitation is from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Septmeber 26, 2015 at Elm Ridge Funeral Home at 4600 W. Kilgore Ave in Muncie with a joyous music-filled service to follow at 5:00 p.m.

Please wear bright colors, Aria loved color. Be the Match will be available after 4:00 p.m. to register bone marrow donors in Aria's memory (it's a simple cheek swab). An awesome outdoor dinner and party will take place at the Gatzlaff house immediately following the service. All those who have been touched by Aria's life are welcome!

In lieu of flowers, the family requests support for a fund that has been established to support causes that have affected Aria and her family in her four short years. Please visit for details. Direct donations can be accepted at the visitation or at the ceremony. Thank you to all who loved Aria. We are forever grateful.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by The Star Press on Sep. 24, 2015.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Elm Ridge Funeral Home & Memorial Park
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11 Entries
This morning out walking I came across a balloon with Aria's photo attached. It landed at Cedar Point on Burt Lake near Indian River, MI. A trip of about 365 miles north of Muncie. After removing the ribbon and photo the balloon was able to continue its journey north. God bless Aria. I can return the photo if wanted.
Richard Yelton
September 28, 2015
I do not know you or your family, but me heart goes out to you in this time of sorrow. Heaven has gained a beautiful little angel. May she rest peacefully in the Lords arms.

Dawn Oshkosh WI
September 26, 2015
So sorry for your loss. I don't know you or your family but it's always sad when a child is lost so early in life. I'm praying for peace and comfort for your family for the coming days,weeks,and years to come.
Barbara Perry
September 25, 2015
So sorry for your loss. It sounds like she had wonderful parents. My heart goes out to you.
September 25, 2015
Kevin, Rachael, & Daisy,
Words cannot express the sorrow I have for the loss of your dear child. Please remember that friends are ready to help you during this difficult time as you grieve now and later. There will be many firsts to get through but always remember and cherish the short time you had with her and the memories you made. Those memories will comfort you.
Marilyn Chalupa
September 24, 2015
prayers for your family
September 24, 2015
Aria was such a sweetie. May the beautiful memories soothe your souls. Peace and Love, Bill & Katie Frederick
September 24, 2015
What a beautiful little girl. I don't know your family but my heart aches for your loss. I watched her Youtube and I cried. Love and prayers to you and your family.
Yorktown Mom
September 24, 2015
May you find the peace and comfort you need as you move forward without little Miss Aria. What a wonderful life she lived with such wonderful parents and big sister! May God bless you all in your time of loss
Jim and Cindy Van Alst
September 24, 2015
I am so, so sorry guys. My heart is breaking for you.
Amber Corduan
September 24, 2015
she is an adorable girl, this really brought tears to my eyes. I am sorry for your loss
September 24, 2015