Kathy (Costello) Benner’s Eulogy
St. Mary’s Church
New Berlin, IL
March 8, 2008
Michele (Costello) Marr
Exactly one week before Kathy died, I was sitting beside her as she slept and for some reason I was trying to remember a quote she had told me years ago. It was a quote that expressed her philosophy of life. I sat there for the longest time – and just when I was ready to give up—it finally came to me. There was only one other person who was with me when Kathy talked about this quote…and it was Quincy. So, I sent Quincy a text message with the quote and asked him to look up the author and the exact wording. The exact wording of the quote was this:
“Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.”
Kathy had a special connection with Quincy, Ambre, Phoenix, and, of course, with her own daughter, Tarah. Each one of their births marked a new beginning for Kathy as an aunt and, later, as a mother. On March 8, 1980, Kathy celebrated the birth of her first nephew, Quincy. Today, March 8, 2008, Quincy commemorates his birthday by celebrating the life of Kathy even though he could not be here with us. We ALL gathered today to remember Kathy and to celebrate her life. It is fitting that we are here at St. Mary’s because it is here that Kathy’s FAITH had its beginning. Kathy was in 1st Grade when she started at St. Mary’s School. She made her First Communion and her Confirmation here. Kathy graduated from 8th grade here. After graduating from ISU, Kathy came back to teach at St. Mary’s because FAITH was the most important part of her life.Within this FAITH community at St. Mary’s, the Dominicans had a huge impact on both of us. It was very comforting for Kathy to talk about all of the memories she had of our days at St. Mary’s. We talked about our first day of school at St. Mary’s.We talked about Monsignor McGrath’s Silver Jubilee Celebration at the Sangamon County Fairgrounds and how she danced the “Irish Jig” in the program. Kathy’s FAITH roots were here at St. Mary’s. Because of that FAITH, we are not focusing on the end of Kathy’s life, but rather on her new beginning. I want to thank Father Angel for welcoming us back to St. Mary’s and for celebrating this Mass for Kathy. I want to extend my sincere gratitude, on behalf of my Dad and my family, to all of our relatives and dear friends who traveled here to celebrate Kathy’s life and to help us move forward…in order to BEGIN again. Thank you, all, for your love and support.