When Walter and I went to the funeral home two weeks ago, the woman there pulled out a form and told us she would help us write the obituary. I couldn't imagine fitting Erin's life into a standardized form, so I just smiled at her and said something like "Walter and I write for a living. I think we'll do it ourselves." I think she thought we were a little foolish. This is what we came up with. If you read all the way to the bottom, I have embedded another YouTube video that someone made for Erin (I say someone, because I can't figure out who did it). I can't think of a more beautiful gift that this person could give than to put together this loving video for us. The note on YouTube says to listen all the way to the end so you can hear Erin singing and laughing.
|Erin Channing Buenger|| |
| June 20, 1997 – April 9, 2009|
Erin Channing Buenger, 11, of Bryan died peacefully at her home on the morning of Thursday, April 9, 2009. A visitation and celebration of her life will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 12, in the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church, located ay 1100 Carter Creek Pkwy. in Bryan. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Monday, April 13, at the church.
Erin entered the world full of joy and energy in Bryan on June 20, 1997. Her bright red hair, beautiful smile and zest for living life to its fullest marked her as special from the beginning. She attended Covenant Presbyterian Day School, Mary Branch Elementary and Jane Long Middle School where she was part of the Inquire Academy. Erin earned nothing but A's throughout her years in the Bryan schools and even during her difficult last few months continued to work hard at every subject. Indeed every subject fascinated her from art to mathematics.
At age five Erin was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a difficult to cure form of childhood cancer. She lived 82 months with the disease, but she never let it slow her down. She lived to the end without fear. Erin worked diligently to increase federal funding of children's cancer research and became a zealous and successful Congressional lobbyist.
Cancer, however, never defined her life, and she passionately pursued her interests in softball, horseback riding, creative arts, cooking, and many other things. She played soccer with intensity and verve and was a member of the Mystic '97 competitive team. Unable to play the past few months, she turned to new things. Her last week of life she designed and created fused glass art pieces and directed the making of lanyards to raise money for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.
What defined Erin most was her relationship to other people of all ages. She formed close ties to many that she met at school, church, through her trips to Washington, and during her lengthy treatments in Houston at Texas Children's Hospital or at local medical facilities. Her smile and warmth made each of her many friends feel special, and her empathetic spirit, understanding, and insights were a balm to them in troubled times. Certainly Erin displayed typical human failings and foibles, and she especially did not suffer fools and foolishness gladly. Still she left behind an example of how to cope with adversity and a model of how to live each day to the fullest.
Her parents, Vickie and Walter Buenger, brother, Davis Buenger, and grandmother, Madge Luquette, all of Bryan, survive Erin, as do many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Her parents, brother and grandmother wish to thank the relatives, friends, coaches, trainers and teachers who contributed so much to Erin's joyful life. Special thanks go to the numerous health care providers who over the years did their best to keep Erin well, including Jesse Parr, Beverly Nutall and the rest of the staff of University Pediatrics in Bryan-College Station, and Heidi Russell at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Erin's Let's Do It Fund at the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan or to the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation/Lunch for Life.
To express sympathy and learn more about Erin, go to http://erinbuenger.blogspot.com. If you have a special memory of Erin, please consider joining The Erin Project.