DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– A family vacation to Florida ended in tragedy after a Dayton woman was killed during Hurricane Ian. On Sunday, the community held a balloon release to remember bright soul taken too soon.

“The children will be mostly affected, they no longer have a mother,” said family friend Will Crusoe.

Blue, white and silver balloons filled the Dayton sky to remember the life of 40-year-old Nishelle Harris-Miles. A birthday trip turned deadly as Hurricane Ian engulfed Florida, including Nishelle’s hotel room. The storm trapped the birthday group inside, the roof eventually collapsed, killing Nishelle. Instead of celebrating Nishelle’s 40th birthday, friends and family are now honoring her memory.

“When they were rescued, she was still there and died in one of the young lady’s arms so imagine what that lady is going through right now, she needs prayers right now,” said Crusoe.

Cousins Erica Maston and Adoria Lloid say ‘Nene’ had a fiery personality, but a soul that will never be replaced in the Dayton community.

“Nene was caring, loving, she would go off, but at the end of the day will still have a smile on her face and life of the party,” said Lloid. “They will never be the same after seeing what they’ve been through.”

Nishelle’s balloon release is barely the beginning of the family’s healing process, a senseless tragedy to an unforgettable spirit.

“Communities need to come together, black, white, green, yellow, whatever color they may be, at times like this is when family and people come together,” said Crusoe.