Kathleen was such a beautiful person, inside and out. At the beginning of the semester she gave one of the most memorable moments to many of us student workers from the Admissions Office. She gave us a beautiful tour of the stained glass windows in the chapel. I never expected a more beautiful, intriguing experience in the chapel, but Kathleen made it that way. She had a way of inspiring us all and is one of the most calming people I have ever been around. We enjoyed the chapel so much and she gave us some of her enthusiasm, and she ended the tour by allowing us to ring the bells. Her energy will be missed, but she is truly an inspiration to many!
Amber Stickney '21
I first met Kathleen during international orientation at the start of my freshman year. She provided a fantastic welcome to myself and my classmates and was the epitome of what a member of the St Lawrence Community should aspire to be. My favourite memory was having the privilege to have my first thanksgiving meal at her house with my fellow international students, a tradition she hosted annually. I will miss your bright presence and our conversations. Rest in peace, Kathleen.
William Waller '22
Kathleen had just arrived in Canton when we faced the Sept. 11 attacks. She rolled up her sleeves immediately that day and set to work with the President's Office, the Student Life Division and student leaders to plan a service that remains permanently etched in my memory. She also saw to it that the bells were rung after the Pentagon attack. We grew close through that crisis and closer still as we worked to plan 100th Night for my class of 2002. When we launched the Last Lecture tradition at Senior Week — in which the faculty winner of the Owen D. Young prize offers a final lecture to the departing class — Kathleen insisted we host the event in the chapel. We have always remained close and it was Kathleen, of course, who came to Buffalo to marry us and it was Kathleen, of course, who came to Mount Kisco to christen Caroline (her baptism fell during the period when the chapel was being restored after the fire) and Kathleen, of course, who christened Julia in our magnificent chapel at Reunion in 2017. Kathleen has been my spiritual guide for nearly 20 years and she was so relentlessly helpful these last years in the wake of my parents' deaths. Each time I've returned to Canton over these many years, I've relished in our visits and in Kathleen's abiding affection and guidance. Finally, I am so grateful for her patronage of the Alumni Executive Council — she offered that talented body some magnificent invocations at the start of our Canaras retreats over these last few years. They're another tradition Kathleen embraced and nurtured. Our community is so blessed by her presence and leadership and her legacy will live on in all of us who should be proud to be part of the generations she served in Canton. Godspeed, love.
Ed Forbes '02
To say that I am grateful for Kathleen Buckley's presence on campus is quite the understatement. Not only did Kathleen open her office doors to students in need, but she helped create an environment in the chapel that allowed it to truly feel like a safe space. There is no other place on campus that I feel such a comfort, and Kathleen contributed greatly to it. There was a time last year where I felt so low that I simply did not know who else to turn to on campus except Kathleen. I reached out for help, remembering a time when a good friend had done the same to get through a troubled time. Kathleen was willing to listen to me and offer guidance; I found solace in Kathleen's office that I could not find anywhere else on campus. Her empathy carried me through the rest of the year. I will forever remember Kathleen for her work on campus and in the greater Canton community.
Natalie Pontikes '20
I am saddened to hear about Rev. Kathleen Buckley passing away. She arrived at St. Lawerence my senior year, and many of my most fond memories were in the Chapel and facilitated by Rev. Buckley. In a time just after 9/11 and when it seemed most important to embrace others and other cultures, she allowed our student organization to use the Chapel for a Divali celebration. The Chapel was beautiful that evening and so many people came to learn about the holiday. Every time I talked to Rev. Buckley, I learned as well as felt heard. St. Lawrence has definitely lost an amazing person.
Amanda Watters '02
I met Kathleen in the Fall of my senior year. I was struggling to get things together in order to graduate on time and was struggling with finding my purpose. Meeting with Kathleen helped me straighten things out, and her guidance in participating in the Candlelight Ceremony for that Christmas season and the Baccalaureate Ceremony in the Spring helped give me a purpose for the last few months of my year. It was my time working with Kathleen that has caused me to work towards becoming a college chaplain myself to give people the same inspiration she gave me.
Evann Hasenauer '15
As an uninitiated bell ringer, Kathleen made me feel so welcome and at home in Gunnison Chapel. It was an honor and privilege to work with her in making Gunnison a beacon on the SLU campus.
John Cambareri '10
Kathleen was one of the first persons in my life that I opened up to because she taught me what it meant to be listened to. I was going through personal challenges at the time and when she welcomed me into her office at the Chapel, I never felt so at peace. She was supportive of me during that tough semester Freshmen year. Kathleen, in a way, reminded me of my caring and loving grandmother. Kathleen also had a wonderful dog that would also cheer me up when I felt sad. Kathleen, you will be missed. Thank you for always being there for me. I wouldn't have made it through Freshmen year without Kathleen's compassion.
Frances Carreon '13
I don't pretend to have known Kathleen real well, but having spent 4 years at SLU at the same time as her, I was lucky enough to have interacted with her often and watched her in action countless times. It didn't take a deep relationship with Kathleen to witness and appreciate her gifts of connection, compassion and understanding for everyone she met. She was a special person and made everyone around her feel the same - in a very genuine way. While I have been away from the North Country for 15 years now, I still remember fondly the many many amazing people whose paths I crossed in my time there. It was a positively transformative time in my life and that is almost entirely because of the people there. Kathleen was one of those remarkable people and for that I thank her and all Laurentians. With Gratitude and Go Saints!
Jeff Abke (Staff 2000-2005)
Rev. Kathleen Buckley blessed my family so much while I worked at St. Lawrence from 2015 to 2017, and even thereafter. When we lived in Canton my husband had two major surgeries in a short time span. She brought us food again and again, prayed with us, and constantly checked on him as patient and me as caregiver. In a messaging exchange I had with her about six weeks ago she said, "I think, like you, we do what God has called us to do. In the aggregate it might seem a lot, but in the day to day, which is all we have, we simply try to love with integrity. It’s our call." And that was her -- humble, kind, giving, selfless -- doing God's work.
Kathleen was just incredible person and I am so sorry to hear about her passing. I found her during my sophomore and junior year at a point where I lost all sense of direction, faith and faced a lot of hurt. Kathleen didn’t have to help me, but she took the time to lead me in the right direction and to get me to talk about what the core of my problems were. She and I didn’t necessarily share the same faith, but that had no effect on her heart. She was such an incredible person who truly cared for other people and I share the loss as she was such a great part of my life and recovery.
Kathleen was such an influence on campus. She helped me during a time that I was struggling with my beliefs and needed guidance. She never once judged me or made me feel different. She was always so joyful and cheery. Her laugh always brightened my mood and made me laugh too. She will be greatly missed.
Madi Fortier '18
Kathleen Buckley was such a joy and positive inspiration to everyone she touched. We knew her as Canton community friends and we would see her and relate to her at Gunnison services, around campus and in the village. She was helpful to so many SLU students, faculty, staff and alumni, including our granddaughter Natasha Bell Cook, SLU class of 2014. She and Shaun were such a special team of listeners and helpers for all. We miss her.
With Love and Prayers, Brad and Marilyn Mintener, Canton
To Shaun and all of Kathleen's family, my heart and love going out to you. What a loss for everyone in our community. Kathleen was so giving, kind and special. She will be missed.
I have a lot of Kathleen memories, starting with all of the events around 9/11, where we had not only a new Chaplain but a number of new, young Student Life directors and a brand new associate dean of the first year. Kathleen and Cissy Petty were crucial in getting us through those days and weeks. I also very much appreciated Kathleen's not just willingness but eagerness to work with different faith traditions. She was always both morally supportive and materially helpful in making sure that the small Jewish population on campus was part of its spiritual life and that those students had events to attend and people and places that felt like home. But my favorite KB story is from right after she arrived. Everyone was telling me about the cool new chaplain and encouraging me to go visit. You can imagine that, as an atheist Jew, I had my guard up a bit. So I went to see her at her Chapel office. She could not have been more welcoming and warm. But the best part was that I sat down at the large wood conference table in there and saw a large bowl with what appeared to be candy. I though "Oh great, this will help me relax." Well, suffice it to say, those wrapped up squares were not candy but condoms. Clearly, there was a new sheriff in town, and this was not your father's university chaplain. Rest in peace, my friend and colleague. You had a life well lived and one that really did make a difference in thousands of young lives. And some old ones too.
Rev Buckley was such a key part of my journey at St Lawrence and beyond. She helped guide me through difficult decisions like joining KDS and deciding about graduate school. She married me to a fellow Laurentian in Gunnison Chapel and she supported me even beyond St Lawrence with her advice and just with her spirit. She was such a light for me and for everyone around her. I hope I can carry on even a fraction of her light and love. You will be truly missed.
Jennifer Lorence Rapke '03
My time at St. Lawrence would not have been the same without Kathleen. I met her within the first few days of my freshman year. She started off as my FYP professor and my advisor, but quickly became so much more. Throughout the years, I was met by many personal, mental, and emotional challenges. Kathleen helped me through all of it. She was always willing to sit down and talk no matter what the circumstances. I also was fortunate enough to participate in two semesters of her Build Your Own Beliefs group, an experience that shaped and defined my college career and continues to influence me in the years after graduation. She is one of the most kind, gentle, selfless, and special people I have ever met and I feel so fortunate to have known her. I am truly and deeply saddened to learn of her passing. She will be greatly missed
Rachel Pifer '16
What a sad and difficult thing to read. Kathleen started out as my first professor at St. Lawrence as one of two for my FYP and later continued on a mentor and career adviser. My junior year, Kathleen gave me the opportunity to create my own course under her guidance and really let me put my education in my own hands. My independent study, "Feeding the North Country" became a back and forth journal dialog between the two of us on the struggles of poorer residents living in the North Country trying to feed themselves and their families. Not only was Kathleen one of the first educators I had at St. Lawrence, but she gave me the opportunity to explore outside the curriculum and educate myself on local issues. Up until my final hour at St. Lawrence when speaking at commencement, Kathleen has made a positive difference in my life. She will be deeply missed.
Sophia Dastoli '17
Kathleen was a wonderful person and will be missed by many. What a loss for SLU and Shaun. R.I.P. Kathleen.
Kathleen was such a comfort to my family and me after the loss of my daughter Emily. She will be welcomed in heaven.
I am feeling heartbroken by this news. The Reverend Kathleen Buckley, Rev. Dr. Shaun Whitehead, and the Gospel Choir were important and special components of my time at SLU. I will miss her support of all of the students, the local community, and the love she shared with everyone around her. My heart and prayers go out to all of her family and friends. My heart goes to Shaun. ❤️Sending hugs, love, and prayers of comfort to everyone who knew her.
Madeleine Poole '13
I have no direct memories of this treasure, yet I am experiencing much through her passing. So grateful for all the lives she's touched. Peace.
Ann Ellery '78
Kathleen was one the kindest and most genuine people I have ever had a chance to meet. She cared so deeply about the international community at St. Lawrence and always made sure to be an available helping hand. It was truly incredible how she managed to make every single person around her feel so welcomed and at home, even when home was thousands of miles away. I will forever cherish her Thanksgiving dinners with produce from her beautiful garden, but most important her selfless and neverending will to share, care, and understand. Sending my deepest condolences to her family, friends and everyone who had the honor of getting to know her.
Suncica Habul '13
Kathleen I will never forget your love for everyone. It is at Gunnison chapel or in your home that you welcomed us with open arms. We international students were well cared for. I will never forget your help in memorizing my late husband and your love for my children. It is sad to let you go but I know you are in heaven. I will miss you Kathleen. RIP
Susan Bantu '18
Rest in heavenly peace, dear K Rev! You have touched so many of us in devoted, caring ways. We will miss you!!
Betsy Snedeker '74
My greatest memories of Kathleen were when she helped me plan a memorial service for my husband, Daniel O'Connor back in 2013. The steeple had burned at that time so services could not be held in the Chapel. Instead she arranged to have them in Herring Cole, which turned out to be the ideal place for Dan's Memorial Service. I couldn't help but admire her warm and easy manner in dealing with such problems. I will always remember her help and kindness at this difficult time in my life.
I’ll remember Kathleen for many reasons. Seems as though every meaningful occasion, joyous or somber, on campus began with her words of comfort and hope. She was kind to everyone and had a smile that just radiated happiness and enjoyment of life. She is a great example of living an authentic life, following her calling, and being totally herself. I’ll never forget my opportunity to know her better on a spring break service trip to Los Angeles where she, of course, came with a positive attitude and excitement for everything we saw and did. She was our chaperone and that also meant our chauffeur, getting us around in the traffic of L.A. in a passenger van no less! Much different from traffic flow in the North Country! At some points, we weren’t sure we’d make it as she’d suddenly make a lane change and politely “chit chat” with the other drivers who by their horns blaring were not chatting back so politely. She just carried on with a smile. On that trip, we also all shared a bunk room in a hostel where we all “awoke” the first morning in amazement of her astonishingly loud snoring! One student quietly passed out ear plugs to get us through the rest of the week. Kathleen, I hope sharing that made you giggle. I’m guessing I’m not the first to remark on that special talent! Above all, Kathleen was a great listener, quite apparent by the outpouring of comments and posts. She made everyone she encountered, however long or briefly, feel that they were important and mattered to her, which I believe we all did. Some things may feel confusing because in this time of collective grief, the St. Lawrence community would turn to her for guidance. She gave her love and light so freely that it remains in all of us who knew her or knew of her. Therefore, let us find comfort in each other and the example she always gave of hope for a better tomorrow. Thank you, Kathleen, for always being you!
Lauren Coakley Diop '06
“There’s a 20 foot guilt free radius that surrounds me, I won’t judge anything you say.” Kathleen told me this during my junior year at SLU; we would meet weekly to talk about life, death, and hope during my father’s brief battle with a rare and aggressive cancer. Her calm spunky presence guided me through the hardest period of my life, I will always be grateful for the time she gave to me during this difficult period in life. The day I left SLU to be with my dad for his final months Kathleen gave me two carved ornaments; a maple leaf and a polished wooden cross. I have and will treasure these icons for as long as I can, and through them will remember her warmth, gentle honesty, and caring. All my love to my SLU family today, we have lost a beautiful soul this winter.
Duncan Fort '17
Our daughter had just graduated from Colgate in June 2016 and was staying with us in Canton when the Pulse Nightclub massacre took place. Being separated from her own queer community at that time was painful and frightening. She wanted to come together to remember the people who were killed. Her father contacted Kathleen and Shaun, and together they planned a beautiful service. I will always remember watching Kathleen being interviewed afterward by a TV reporter--her honesty and deep caring were breathtaking.
So kind, so caring, so considerate. A good listener, a good advisor, a good person. Focused, friendly, and with a candy bowl always filled. May her memory be for a blessing.
I had the honor of working with Kathleen at Skidmore College and supporting her candidacy for the chaplaincy at St. Lawrence. She was a magnanimous colleague whose generosity of spirit and friendship were unstinting and unconditional. At Skidmore, and again at St. Lawrence, she courageously succeeded long-tenured and much-loved chaplains and won us over with her abundant love, gregarious warmth, gentle compassion, commitment to community, irrepressible enthusiasm, open mind, inclusive spirit, innovative thinking, and refreshing individuality. She was a chaplain for our time; may she live on in our hearts and through our actions.
Kent Jones, BA '72; M.Ed.'77
Kathleen's warmth and compassionate wisdom touched the lives of so many in countless positive ways, large and small. She always fought for love, empathy, and justice in all she did, and made our campus and our world immeasurably kinder and better places through her presence and care. I am so grateful to have known her, to have worked with her and learned from her. She will be very dearly missed.
Kathleen, from my first day in Canton, You were the carrying support for so many of us, especially for the international students. It is with You, we spent our first weekend, the first Thanksgiving, the moments of college successes and failures, and it is You who sent us to the world after the commencement service. As a matter of fact, You sent us to the world with our hearts filled with Love, Compassion, and Understanding. We learned and honed these values because of You. You were the true blessing, and wherever we are and whatever we do Your unconditional trust in God’s Love is with us. The seed You planted is blossoming, for which I am forever thankful!
Lukasz W. Niparko '13
In my time as the Associate Director of Career Services, I had the privilege of serving on the search committee that hired Kathleen. From the first moment we met her in a phone interview, it was evident that Kathleen was someone with integrity, strong passion for people - especially students - and a vision for spiritual life. Her on campus visit only confirmed what we had already started to suspect - that here was exactly the right person for our university at exactly the right time. Through her first year on campus, I had the opportunity to work with Kathleen through the tripartite committee for Religious Life and as a colleague in Student Life. Her presence was filled with joy and insight at every turn and one left interactions with Kathleen knowing that someone truly cared about them. The difficult days after 9/11 proved challenging for our Student Life team but Kathleen quickly became one of our guiding lights in those dark days. Her faith, her hope never wavered despite the deep heartache so many of us felt and she found ways to help us all move forward one step at a time. As we approached the first Candlelight service of her tenure (a daunting task indeed), she was meticulous in her efforts to ensure that every detail of this storied tradition was honored - down to the evergreens and hundreds of candles needed. As my own journey has taken me to other places, I have enjoyed watching Kathleen continue to build and grow the programming and supports for all faiths at SLU. She has been a tremendous teacher and steward of those precious resources, especially including the rebuilding of Gunnison Chapel. There is no doubt Kathleen leaves our SLU better than when she first arrived and for that I am especially grateful. God speed Kathleen - may the joys of heaven embrace you with open arms.
Tracey Cross-Baker '90 (Staff 1999-2002)
This is such unexpected and sad news. Kathleen was a genuinely kind and caring person. I count her as a friend. When I was going through a difficult time, she listened and gave me words of comfort, and good advice. We will all miss her very much.
Neil Forkey, Canadian Studies
Kathleen held standing in the Black River - St.Lawrence Association of the United Church of Christ where I also hold standing. Because our work took us in different directions I seldom saw her. But when I did she was always most cordial, kind, and generous in spirit. Her death came far too soon. My deep condolences to those who loved her most.
Rev. Walter F. Smith, Pastor, United Presbyterian Church, Lisbon, NY
I remember her kindness and smiling face at Commencement. She was an amazing, selfless leader who helped me grow my faith in a very difficult time, when a dear friend passed away. She helped me through that and even mailed a package to my friend's family for me. I wish I had spent more time with her, but I enjoyed following her over the years. I remember when there was a fire in the chapel and she posted -- the bells will ring again. May she rest in peace, blessing us all from Heaven and singing with God, taking her place with His mighty angels.
Kate Yen '06
Thank you for sharing your values of compassion, generosity, forgiveness, tolerance... you will always be with us and we hope to spread your love for others in this difficult world that we live in.
Ana Hernandez, 2013-2017
We first met Rev. Buckley in the spring of 2019 as we planned a ceremony to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary and renew to our vows in Gunnison Memorial Chapel while we were at our SLU 50th reunion. She was so helpful with our planning for the event and mini reception. Together with Kathleen, Jim and I celebrated our 50 years of marriage in a great ceremony officiated by Rev Buckley in the Chapel where we were married in 1969. She was a beautiful person and we are so glad to have had her as a part of our circle of family and friends. She will not be forgotten.
Charlie (Saucier) '69 and Jim Mahoney '69
Kathleen was my FYP professor, and I could not have been placed under a better welcoming wing. My seminar was about the "importance of place", and after losing my home to a fire the month prior to school I was overwhelmed. I don't think I would have survived that class (and perhaps my first semester) without her acceptance of tragedy and easy going mentality that created such a peaceful environment. One could say she quite literally saved my life too, after driving me to get help during a close call with an allergic reaction. Thank you Kathleen, a true Saint.
Madeleine Young '16
I feel so grateful to be able to meet Kathleen in the very beginning of my college years. Without her, my whole experience of study-abroad in the U.S. wouldn't be the same memorable. I really love the days we sat in her office, having tea and small talks. Her words have been and always will be the light guiding me to the right way. I couldn't appreciate enough of meeting such a kind and giving person. I will miss you Kathleen, RIP.
Chenqu Jiang '17
I write simply as a trailing spouse of my late wife, Janet Langlois, a St Lawrence graduate and trustee who met Kathleen Buckley when Kathleen first came to St. Lawrence. They developed a close relationship as Jan searched to understand her own beliefs, and Jan and I saw Kathleen often at meetings in Canton and elsewhere. She also stopped at our home on her way to visit her Dad and we were delighted to have her meet our friend who loved woodworking just as she did. That relationship grew as Jan was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, and when Jan passed away after a valiant fight, we asked Kathleen if she would offer the invocation at Jan’s memorial service. She graciously said yes, and then an emergency occurred that did not allow her to travel to the memorial. But she sent along her precious words for one of Jan’s sisters to read. As I mourn Kathleen’s loss for the extraordinary woman Kathleen was and read her beautiful word’s once again, I was struck by how powerfully they spoke to me of Kathleen. I can think of no better tribute to Kathleen than her own beautiful words … and I have simply placed Kathleen’s name where Jan’s had been …
Words of Grace for Kathleen with love
I think a human life is much like a candle
Whose flame, while it burns brightly
Whether for a long time or briefly,
Sends out a circle, a glowing radiance,
Of warmth and light in all directions.
When the candle is extinguished, the memory
Of light and its brilliance continues to glow in the mind’s eye.
So a human life when it is ended is remembered in the heart’s deep core.
The fire of its brilliance continues to warm our spirits with love,
To illuminate and influence all that it has touched.
It is so very clear that Kathleen’s zest for life and influence on others was pervasive.
From the time we met Kathleen (at a Trustee meeting in 2001) until the last time I visited with Kathleen, her being was always a beacon of compassion and concern for others. Her commitment and care for the well being of others knew no bounds. Her unique blend of realism and hope was an inspiration to so many. She embodied the word grace.
And now she rests.
Now it is time to say goodbye
So we gather together in this place to complete the cycle.
We embrace the task for it is an honor to walk her home.
George H. Vollmuth (Spouse of Jan Langlois '71)
The news of Kathleen's passing has been heartbreaking. I have not yet processed it. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. Kathleen was kind, generous, supportive, and loving. I have so many fond memories of my four years at SLU and many of them include Kathleen, not least the famous Thanksgiving feast at her beautiful home. As an international student and one who was going through some of the most difficult times of my life, Kathleen was a rock I leaned on. She was an exceptional listener and helped me get through some hard times. I will always remember her unconditional support and love. She was an outstanding leader in the community. What a tragic loss for SLU and for all of us who were lucky enough to have met her.
Maryam Laly '15
Death is to human life what the final curtain is to a play.
It gives to life form and substance.
It helps us understand the meaning of what has gone before;
to more fully appreciate the lives of those who have played their parts
and played them well.
Kathleen played her role with distinction.
Richard S. Gilbert '58, '61
You are Forever in our hearts & minds ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for your kindness, spirit and ability to live life so peacefully.
Jeffrey Glass, P'13 & P'15
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Kathleen personally, I heard a lot about her! I cannot say enough about the positive impact she has made on my daughter, Alexandra, during her time at SLU. Both Kathleen and Shaun were inspirations to Alexandra at weekly gospel services, and she knew she had two wonderful people she could confide in if she ever needed advice. Alexandra would attend weekly services feeling revived and fulfilled with the weekly messages from gospel service. Kathleen's teachings of human kindness have made a huge impact on the person our daughter is today, and for that, my husband and I are truly grateful. SLU was very fortunate to have a spiritual leader like Kathleen Buckley. Our thoughts and prayers are with Shaun, family, friends, and the SLU community.
Marian Nicoletti P'19
Kathleen was without question a true Saint. For those of us lucky to have known or worked with her, we will always know that having her on our team was a privilege. When difficult times occurred Kathleen was there for students, families, faculty and staff. Once the call was made for her help you were comforted to know her steady hand was charting a course for all to follow. I was honored to work with her on the difficult days but equally enjoyed my time with her on committees when the topics were working on the University’s on going mission. Kathleen was kind, serious of purpose but most importantly made life on the campus better.
My heartfelt condolences to all. I was just paraphrasing some of the material that I was able to explore during one of my courses with Kathleen. I don’t quite have the words to express what a profound impact she has had on so many. A true loss to the community, the school, the world. When I think of what people need to be like to make the world a better place, Kathleen, it was you that often came to my mind. May you be at peace.
Kathleen held space for me at a dark and deeply lonely time in my life -- I will always be grateful for her company in those moments. I recall being so impressed that she could make room for my sorrow one minute and make me laugh hard a few minutes later. That she did this for me as well as countless others is a testament to her compassion, empathy and warm spirit. My wife, Sarah, is a chaplain, too. I wish Sarah could have met Kathleen; I think they would have really enjoyed each other. Kathleen will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
Liz Thompson '07
May Reverend Buckley rest in perfect peace. She was such a kindred soul during the annual“Got Spirit” Gospel workshops, and the divinity services on campus. You will be missed.
Iyi Okunlola '14
My daughter, Madeline Holodnik, arrived at St. Lawrence to begin her freshman year in August of 2016. Two days after her arrival on campus, her father (my husband) passed away. I contacted Kathleen and she was waiting for us when I arrived to tell Madeline this horrible news. For the next three years, Kathleen met with Madeline at least weekly, enveloping her in support, love, patience, kindness, and understanding. Kathleen is the reason my daughter was able to stay at St. Lawrence despite her grief and sadness. She always had Kathleen to call, talk with, lean on, and hug. As Madeline prepares to graduate this spring, it is clear that Kathleen changed the trajectory of our lives, by giving Madeline the endless support to continue on her path. Kathleen was one of the kindest and loveliest people I have ever met, and I will be forever thankful that I had the opportunity to know her. This is such a tremendous loss for so many people, but what an amazing legacy of love and kindness this beautiful woman has left.
Jane Salamone '85
I know Kathleen officiated the weddings of many SLU alums, staff, and faculty--but how many of us have the unique distinction of two weddings officiated by Kathleen? Kathleen married us twice--the first time in a secret backyard wedding, with our dog jumping around us while I was seven months pregnant. The second time was our "real" wedding, among family and friends at Camp Canaras almost a year later. In both weddings, she honored our commitment to each other and was abundantly gracious with our wishes. In both ceremonies, she helped us attune to each other and the birdsong. One picture from our wedding captures Kathleen's spirit perfectly--I wish I could post it here. Having just shared a joke with those gathered for the ceremony, her face is a lovely mix of warmth, humor, and a teensy little bit of mischief. We will miss her dearly.
It is hard to think of Gunnison Chapel without Rev. Kathleen Buckley in residence. Her presence, her goodness, her creativity, her unconditional welcome and spontaneous decency will be missed by all of us. It was an honor to know her and work with her. I was one of the faculty members on the committee which brought Kathleen to St. Lawrence. And if we ever made a "no brainer" decision this was surely it. As a faculty member we worked together on the Peace Studies minor, we designed courses together. Kathleen also helped me to clarify and discern my call to ministry. After my ordination I returned to St. Lawrence to learn more about university chaplaincy. On a more personal level, early in her ministry with us, Kathleen was there for me when my father died. She offered comfort and solace to me as she had done for countless others. We were blessed to have this talented woman of deep conviction in our lives.