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Name Date Entry
Courtney Carpenter 3/14/06

Kathryn was such a great dancer and person in general. She always was smiling and what a great smile. She was always having fun in whatever she did. Kathryn never knew it, but one day she would be the most important dancer at Steps.

Marissa Cannella 3/14/06

I didn't know Kathryn but I do know her cousin Beth and how devastated she was to find out about her cousin's death. She seems like an amazing person who cared very much about other people and helping them!!! I just want to tell her family that I am truly sorry for your loss and that because Kathryn was such an amazing person, I know that she will definately be remembered even to those who didn't know her!!!

Meghan Falconio 3/14/06


This still isn t real. I feel you and think about you all the time through my memories. Whenever I find myself missing you the most, I look back at those memories and I will never forget...

Getting stitches above my eye at your birthday party; calling each other just to catch up on our soaps; giving the name Pickles to you when you came to visit me at school; helping you find your way through Washington Junior High when you got lost (even when it meant I would be late for my class); your mom yelling at Nick and I when we gave you both of our backpacks to walk home with, while we ran back to school; sitting in the back of Hantak s class talking; having our swimming races in the pool; you trying soccer, and me trying dance (even though everyone knew neither of us belonged doing them); playing Cranium; trying to get you to come Monmouth; watching I Love Lucy together; singing Lion King and Sound of Music with you; sitting next to you on your first roller coaster ride; eating the cheese out of the bottle at Aunt Jewels and Uncle Mikes; riding on the five person raft in Michigan; making the chubby face; and many more. But most of all I will never forget what a wonderful little sister you are to me and always will be.

The last time I talked to you, you told me you were going to NIU and the last time I saw you, I said goodbye as I went back to school.

I will see you again someday but until then...
You will always be in my heart, memories, and life forever.

Thank you for everything

I miss you and I Love you

Uncle Mike & Aunt Jewel 3/16/06

Kathryn is our niece with whom Mike and I always shared a very special relationship with she loved to hang out with us as much as we loved to hang out with her.

The two main things we'll remember about Kathryn are her awesome smile and her contagious laugh. She was always doing one or the other (or typically both) every single time we saw her. She was a purely enjoyable person and we enjoyed every moment we spent with her.

Some things that come to mind when we think of Kathryn:

**Kathryn once told Uncle Mike to pinch his cheeks & point his toes while instructing him on the proper way to reach for the volleyball when it fell out of the pool (Mike always says those were six words a Niece should never say to her Uncle!)

**Kathryn had a sexy voice when answering the phone, and loved when we pointed it out to her (Not!).

**Kathryn liked playing our special version of pool volleyball.

**Kathryn loved making Smores with her family.

**Kathryn liked JOKE!

**Kathryn wore yellow just to entice Bubba.

**Kathryn made fun of Aunt Jewel's brownies -- and breakfasts we had after sleepovers -- but she loved em!

**Kathryn liked to play guess the right color or you'll be dunked game in the pool (I think she always guessed the wrong color on purpose!)

**Kathryn liked Easy Cheese (especially when she got a can to herself)

**Kathryn's rendition of Chubby was the best ever!

**Kathryn loved listening to Uncle Mike's stories, anywhere/anytime (and for anyone who knows Mike you know he has some good ones!)

Kathryn loved life and particularly loved hanging out with her family, no matter what we were doing. She was a beautiful girl and we miss her Hugely.

We truly believe Kathryn is with each of us now and will be every day for the rest of our lives.

We miss you and love you Kathryn.

To Doris, Elizabeth and Nicholas -- we will be there for you always.

AUNTIE 3/17/06

Kathryn and I shared many phone calls. Although most of them were very brief with all of them being responded by her with the same "witty" response. I initiated most of the calls but today if Kathryn were here, she would be calling me - that I am sure of! I miss these phone calls as much as I miss her. Even though they were the same phone calls almost every night- we would laugh every time all the same----I Love you and miss you, Kathryn!

Giana Greco 3/17/06

Kathryn was an amazing dancer!! And you can never forget her smile!! I dance at her same studio STEPS Dance Center, and trust me Kathryn, everyone misses you so much!!! All your friends and family!! You were a great girl!!!

Jaclyn Montagano 3/26/06

Kathryn was an amazing dancer. She always caught my eye whenever I saw her perform. She had a wonderful smile too. She is still in our hearts and we all miss her so much!!!

Maria Cucuras 3/26/06

Although I only may have been with Kathryn a couple times, her impact on me and my family is unexplainable. I first met Kathryn a few years ago through Elizabeth Betten. I couldn't wait to meet her, because in talking with Elizabeth, I could tell that Kathryn was a one of a kind person and friend. My first impression was that she was the sweetest, most innocent girl I had ever met. In spending time with her, I found that my first impressions didn't even tap into the amazing qualities of Kathryn. I can't help but think that God had a purpose for Kathryn, which she fulfilled by touching so many people in such a short amount of time. The lessons she has taught me are some of the most important lessons that can be acquired in a lifetime. Her smile, passion, and impact on others are a constant inspiration to me. I constantly think about Kathryn, and she and her family will always be in our prayers. Thank you for everything you've taught me. I love you.

Liz Kuhrt 3/29/06

I still don't want to believe that this is all real, and it just isn't fair that such a wonderful girl was taken away from all of us. I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of Kathryn, and all of the wonderful times we shared together.

*I remember just about every friday night when we were in grade school calling Kath, and trying to convince our moms to let us have a sleep over (we won most of the time.)

* We LOVED the Sophie B Hawkins song "As I Lay Me Down to Sleep", and would play it over and over again. We also loved to make up dances to it and make Mrs.Bender, Nicholas, and Elizabeth come watch our wonderful performances.

*Another great thing about the Bender house was they had a great play kitchen. Kathryn and I would make the best fine dining menu's and make Mrs.Bender come eat at little restuarant in the basement.

*We were also great chef's in the kitchen, and created our own version of really cheesy mac and cheese, probably the best thing we ever made!

* I also remember Kathryn's addiction to chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and when Grandma and Grandpa moved in next door there was always some waiting there for us!

* I remember how she would always get mad at me for doing crazy things, and she would give me this stare and I knew to stop. She may have always looked to be the calm one, but if you saw her at home you would know she was truly wild!

* The one time we had a class together in all of High school was Biology Sophomore year, and we decided to make it a competition. I think I beat Kathryn on one of the test because she had been sick for a week. Natrally she beat me, but I just claimed science was my weak spot.

* I remember all of the great family parties, swimming or weddings they were all a blast, and how you really felt welcome like one of the family. In Grandma's pool kathryn warned me not to pee in it cause the water would turn purple...I found out last year it was a lie.

* The last thing I really remember is my favorite nick name for Kath. We used to play the game of Life, and I always wanted to be named Habeeb, and then I named her Haboob...don't ask why. I remember how I would get mad if she was winning, so I would tickle her, and she had the greatest laugh you have ever heard. Out of all of the memories I have I miss her laugh the most.

Kathryn has been my best friend for as long as I can remember, and no matter how far away she is that will never change. I know she is looking down on us and I want her to know that not a day goes by when I don't miss her. Life isn't the same without my favorite Kathryn Mary Bender, but I can't wait to be able to see her again!!!

Best Friends Forever!
Love you tons,

Saleha Mallick 3/30/06

I've known Kathryn since freshman year; we had choir together for all of high school and I did costumes for every show at North. But, I really got to know her on our Treble Choir England trip last year. When we were going, I was kind of worried about who I would hang out with in England because none of my close friends were going. But when we got there, Kathryn and I ended up being "England Buddies." We pretty much spent the whole trip together. It was such a blast and I got to know a side of Kathryn that I hadn't really experienced. She was so full of life and fun-loving. I remember everything we did on that trip, from the first tube ride when she got stuck in the train door, to her ghetto rap rendition of a Spice Girls' song, to watching Les Mis together (making sure we kept each other awake as we were exhausted from the trip), to our trip to find Mamma Mia tickets, to our quest for a bathroom on Oxford Street, to our very last dinner in London at a Mexican place in Picadilly Circus. Because of that trip Kathryn and I became good friends. I got to do Anything Goes with her, it was a blast, even though we were in different casts. I got to dress her characters for Angels Fall (the turquoise skirt that she purposely waddled in because she thought it was too tight) and for the Dining Room (the old lady outfit we would plan in choir, with the cane and baggy socks and couch fabric). Kathryn was just a fabulous person to be around.

Kathryn, I miss you and remember you everyday. You really lit up our lives.