Before we start bragging about our girl, we hate to announce that the natural course of Ava’s disabilities prematurely took her away on March 1, 2020. As her parents, it’s comforting to know that our mermaid angel is being taken care of by her Nana, Glenna McClelland, who is probably feeding her M&M’s as you read this. She is now being looked over by her Pappy, Jack McClelland, who can once again poke fun at her. And now she can finally meet her namesake, Alice Louise Blackketter, who we are sure, will be impressed at what a prim and proper princess she had become.
Ava was always a ‘mother hen’ who kept us honest. She is now the guardian angel over her devoted Daddy Bear and Mommy Bear, Robert (Bob) and Nicholette McClelland. Her relationship with her siblings was equal part love and frustration; from being picked on by her Bubby (Ethyn McClelland), to playing Roblox with her Quinny, (Quinn McClelland), to the little one (Keane McClelland) asking too many questions and driving her crazy.
It truly took a village to raise this sassy little girl. And so many people meant so much to her, including her special aunt, Sissy (Andrea Misel); to the aunt she loved but would never admit, Schyler Blackketter Swartz; and her ‘spirit’ aunt, Shiloh Blackketter, and her puppies. She was extremely close to her cousin, Isabella (Bella) Misel, who she would Facetime for hours on end. We can’t forget her uncles Nicholas Blackketter, who was her protector, and Jim McClelland, who would spoil her with exotic meats. And she will always and forever be her papaw’s (Nick Blackketter) little mermaid.
Ava’s village extended well beyond her family. She adored her BFF Kaylee Dingey, who always saw Ava for the special person that she was and not for her disabilities. And Jennie Downey, who was so much more than her school aide, but a partner in crime. This list goes on, but the entire Maysville Schools staff and community helped in so many ways to provide the best life that Ava could have wished.
Now let’s brag about our girl. She went by many names: Ava A., Miss Ava, Princess Ava, Ava Bear, Sissy, Luu, Glitterdancer101, Boss, and the list goes on. She impacted so many people’s lives in so many ways. There was just something about our girl that drew people of all ages to her. She could melt your heart with her sweetness (“Could I have a hug?”). Or she could ruffle your feathers with her total bluntness (“Are you really wearing that?!?”). She had so many sides to her that endeared her to all. But Miss Ava’s strength and resiliency where her cornerstones. She was a rock for her parents, family, and friends. She went through so many struggles with style and grace. She was perfectly imperfect. Our little girl was the strongest person we had ever met.
We couldn’t just stop at bragging about our girl without teasing a little bit. Ava was an “old soul” who was more like an 80 year old ‘crazy cat woman’ than an 11 year old girl. She had her own fashion style (certainly one that her parents couldn’t figure out) that had her wearing anything from gaudy clip-on earrings to draping herself in denim. Never once was she a girl who would partake in flatulence without the courtesy of saying “Pardon me.” And her YouTube fame, spoken in her own words, was “Cringy!”
Ava had a positive outlook on life. She would start every day posting an inspirational quote to her social media accounts, in hopes of helping others. Despite her disabilities, she was determined to make a difference in this world. She dreamed of starting a non-profit charity to help people in need. Although flowers are certainly welcome (of course Ava loved flowers), if those who desire to help carry out her legacy by donating, we would ask for donations be directed in her honor to one of two organizations that were part of Ava’s village; The Muskingum Valley Ohio Miracle League, P.O. Box 185, Zanesville, Ohio 43702 or Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., 2781 N. Moose Eye Rd., Norwich, Ohio 43767.
We invite anyone from Ava’s village or whose life she may have touched, to come celebrate her life on Thursday, March 5, 2020, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM or 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at THE SNOUFFER FUNERAL HOME, 1150 WEST MILITARY ROAD, ZANESVILLE. We are going to continue to brag about how lucky we are to have loved her and look forward to hearing her impact on others. We will honor her life with the help of Pastor John Alice in the Snouffer Chapel at 11AM on Friday, March 5, 2020. Burial will follow in Zanesville Memorial Park.
And finally to our sweet baby Ava: Love you; love you more; love you most; nuh-uh, yes-huh!
To send a note of condolence to the family go to www.snoufferfuneralhome.com, find us on Facebook or call our locally owned caring staff at 740-450-8000.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ava Alice McClelland, please visit our floral store.