Northbrook child remembered at funeral service
A Celebration of Life: Lacey Horwitch of Northbrook, who was 10, was remembered at her service Feb. 14 at Northbrook Congregation Beth Shalom. Karie Angell Luc~for Sun-Times Media
During Thursday’s funeral service for Lacey Horwitch, Rabbi Carl Wolkin read from a letter written by Lacy on Aug. 3, 2012.
When I smile the world stops and stares for a while.
The world will fight for HLH and RTH
Lacey is a champion,
Lacey’s life (is) in the hospital,
Lacey loves to be sneaky at night,
Lacey loves being with mom and dad and Melina to sleep at night
But she plays…
Lacey is a pop star.
She’s got souvenirs and autographs.
It’s not what is on the outside
It is what is on the inside.
One mom, one dad, one dog, four sisters (including Melina Vincent)
A lot of grandparents
What a life.
Melina, Maya, Lacey and Jenna, I love you
... I love my family, I love the world, I love everybody.
Lacey loves food and eating but not sleeping.
Lacey’s dad rocks. Believe. Dream, if you could feel the love.
Lacey is home and she is doing good.
That is all that matters.
I believe in myself.
Updated: February 18, 2013 5:51PM
NORTHBROOK — In his purple tie and matching suit handkerchief, Cantor Steven Stoehr of Congregation Beth Shalom on Thursday confidently sang a Valentine’s Day funeral service for 10-year-old Lacey Bria Horwitch,
Roughly 800 people attended the service, not counting those listening to a remote audio feed.
Stoehr acknowledged his lavender tie as one simple, loving gesture for the girl who entered liver failure 19 months ago, prompting regional bone marrow drives.
“On Valentine’s Day,” mused Stoehr, “when red is the predominant color, purposeful purple pervaded. It was a favorite color of hers.”
Ultimately, her father David, a Chicago attorney, was the best donor match.
Diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistocytis and thyroid hormone resistance, Lacey received chemotherapy at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.
She lost her ability to walk, and hearing aids, in glitter glam colors, replaced her reduced hearing.
Lacey wore a wig with hair donated by her two sisters, Maya, a Maple School eighth-grader and Jenna, a Wescott School first-grader.
Bekah Lampert, a Maple School sixth-grader who also donated her hair last spring said, “(I’m) sad, but I’m happy that (Lacey) can remember me for it.”
Lacey, who turned 10 Jan. 19, also loved hot pink. Her Make-A-Wish room in her family’s central Northbrook home features electric colors popular with girls her age.
It is a comforting place where Lacey’s mother, Laura, encourages sleepovers. It was also where Lacey spent quality time with caregiver Melina Vincent.
Laura Horwitch, wearing a purple skirt, began her tribute steps from her daughter’s coffin, which was draped in a pall with the words “Always appreciated and remembered.”
“My dear baby girl,” she said. “On your 10th birthday, you asked Dad and I to come to your bedside and you told us you were going to die.
“I didn’t even know what to say to you and I was completely in shock by the words. You knew … like every other time … you knew things that no one else knew”
“... I climbed on your bed and you said, ‘Mommy, I love you more than anything in the world.’”
Laura told her daughter she was “going to take a nap and that it would be okay.”
“So you shut your eyes and I kissed you good night …”
On Feb. 12, Lacey died in her parents’ arms.
“Even though Valentine’s Day is not a Jewish holiday, it is so appropriate that today there is more love for you in this room than anywhere else in the entire world,” said Laura. “I think you chose today to remind everyone in this room to love one another each and every day.
“Lacey, I love you forever.”
Among the six pallbearers was Terri Carman, Wescott School principal.
“It was just a beautiful service and tribute to a little girl and her family,” Carman said. “It was nice to see so many people come from our community.
“It was a loss for our school, tough for everybody ...”