North Hunterdon High School graduate, college student and beloved friend Kathryn Rose Berger left a heartbreakingly touching message in her journal that was shared after her death from brain cancer on June 1 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at the age of 20.
Born in New Brunswick, Kathryn grew up in Bethlehem Township and participated in theater and choir groups at school, her obituary says.
Kathryn was known for her “impeccable” comedic wit and timing — particularly when she portrayed the principal in her school’s production of Grease.
Kathryn was passionate about helping individuals with disabilities and participated in the Unified Bowling club, the Special Olympics and Girl Scouts, her obituary says.
She then furthered her education by studying Communications at The College of New Jersey, where she was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Best Buddies, and Campus Ministry.
Meanwhile, Kathryn had become known for her endless positivity and ability to find silver lining in any situation — even while fighting her illness through countless trips to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“From her experiences at the hospital, she always wanted to be a source of positivity and light for everyone that she met,” reads her obituary.
A quote taken from Kathryn’s journal and shared on her obituary reflects what an endless source of radiance and positivity she truly was:
“I am in love with life from the minute the sun rises to the second the sun sets,” Kathryn wrote. “And even the second it gets dark because we are faced to see the stars. The stars simply remind us how beautiful the day really was, even if it had rained. So yes, I’ve learned at such a very young age, that even behind those dark rain clouds, there is such hope, love, strength, faith, and happiness. It’s just waiting to sprinkle down on those when the time is right.”
Bethlehem Township Mayor Walter Baumgarten shared his condolences on Facebook:
“As a parent there is nothing that brings more sadness to our lives than the loss of a beloved child,” he wrote.
“Those of us who recall Kathryn from our school system and her frequent visits to Heritage Park are tearfully heartbroken at her passing. She was a bright and shining star to all and many tears will be shed as we recall the joy and happiness she brought to all of the lives she touched.”
Kathryn’s memorial was held June 5 at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Hampton.
Donations can be made in Kathryn’s name to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in support of the Child Life Services Department.
“May the memory of this blessed young woman never fade in our community and I know that I will not be alone in my prayers that she rest in peace in the arms of the Lord God and forever remind us of what is good and great in the human spirit!” Mayor Baumgarten wrote.
“Be Thou At Peace Kathryn. God Bless you.”
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