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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY FOCUS | IRVINE

Marking a Mom's Resting Site

April 24, 1998|LISA ADDISON

Tracy Van Dinter was just 27 when she died in a car accident two years ago in Huntington Beach. Her death sent her husband and their three little girls into an emotional, as well as financial, tailspin that continues today.

Because Van Dinter lacked life insurance, her parents, Nikki and Denny Hall, took out a loan to pay for their daughter's funeral. They've spent the last two years paying off the debt and trying to figure out a way to come up with enough money for a headstone at the grave site.

Finally, relatives hit on the idea to hold a garage sale this weekend to raise money for the marker.

It was a plan that pleased the little girls: Crystal, 10; Danielle, 8, and Julia, 3.

"Actually, this is for them more than anything," Nikki Hall said. "This is something they have been asking for, and I think they need for their mother to have that marker. This will be a healing for them."

Every week since their mom died, the girls have released balloons with hand-written messages to their mother. Just before Easter, they released pink and purple balloons that read: "To Mom. I love you. Happy Easter." Their father, who is unemployed, spends free time drawing pictures of his wife, some of which depict her as an angel.

The garage sale will be Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hall home, 39 Mann St., Irvine.

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