Kathryn “Kate” Steinle was a 32-year-old woman in the prime of her young life, beloved by family and friends, when she was shot and killed at Pier 14 in San Francisco while walking with her father.
The incident that took her life at Pier 14 in San Francisco on July 1 has been widely circulated in the media as a multiple deportee felon has been charged with causing her death. But Thursday’s service held in memory of Kate Steinle was simply about remembering a young woman taken from her family and friends too soon.
Those closest to Kate, her family and friends have shared some of their memories. Messages from her brother and a coworker are included here intact that they may best capture who she was.
Kate’s big brother Brad shared his memories on a memorial fundraising webpage created in her name. His message reads:
I am Kate’s big brother, Brad. And days ago the most loving, beautiful, and amazing person was taken from us…my best friend, my love, my sister. Kate had a special soul, a kind and giving heart, the most contagious laugh I have ever heard and smile I have ever seen. Kate loved to laugh, travel, spend time with friends, and most of all loved her family.
Please remember every day that love is all that matters. Loving friends, loving life, and most of all loving your family.
The day before Kate died she changed her Facebook cover photo with a saying that said “Whatever’s good for your soul……….do that.” Please always remember Kate and live your life by these words.
We are truly grateful for all of the love and support that we have received and the idea that so many people want to keep Kate’s legacy alive. We set up this page as a way to remember her and as a tribute to the amazing soul that she was. Any funds collected will be used to help the family continue to move forward and to support the causes close to Kate’s heart. A portion of the funds will be used to support the charities listed below, but you can also make donations directly to them in Kate’s honor.
As of Friday afternoon the site had reached over $37,000 in donations from 332 donors.
Another fundraising effort spearheaded by Kate’s coworkers on GiveForward has raised over $26,000 from over 340 donors as of Friday afternoon. Hung Ly shared a message of remembrance on the page that referenced Thursday’s memorial service.
I have seen this phenomenon several times, but I did not know it had a name until Kate’s dad Jim mentioned it in his address at Kate’s memorial service yesterday. During Kate’s father’s speech, he mentioned a term the Steinles had coined- the Kate Effect. It describes the way that she had with people, the way “every guy had a secret (or not-so-secret) crush on her, and every girl wanted to be her best friend.” Her openness, easy demeanor, and adventurous spirit made her irresistible.
One of my own Kate Effect stories involves my family. Those who worked with Kate know that no one just “works with Kate.” That’s just not how she operated- she becomes a part of your life, and you become a part of hers. Kate had joined Medtronic just a few months before we had our second child, when our older daughter was just over 3 years old. Kate stopped by shortly after our son was born with a gift for him- a personalized onesie that read “Little Brother” above his name. My daughter watched us open the gift with a peculiar look on her face- the look of a formerly only child who was now no longer the center of attention. Of course Kate noticed, so she bent down to get eye to eye with our daughter, gave her a little wink, reached into her bag, and pulled out a beautifully wrapped package. Our daughter’s eyes lit up as she unwrapped the gift to reveal a personalized shirt that read “Sweetest Big Sister” above her name. Our daughter beamed Kate a huge smile and fell in love with her in that instant.
The charities listed are Challenged Athlete’s Foundation and PAWS.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana