Patricia Kuras

Family Tribute:This eulogy was delivered by Thomas Kuras, the brother of the late Patricia Kuras, at a memorial ceremony held at St. Christopher's R.C. Church in the Grant City section of Staten Island. This eulogy was delivered in the form of a letter written to Patricia from her family. This eulogy was the result of a collaborative effort of Patricia's mother, Frances, her other brother Michael, and her sister- law- Helene, the wife of Thomas. October 12, 2001Dearest Patricia:As far as I can remember I have never written you a letter before this one, and sadly I will never write you one again. In the past there was no need for a letter because you were only a phone call or at best a short ride away. Now all of that has changed. You were born on Tuesday, September 30, 1958. The weather was fair with the temperature in the mid-60's. A fine New York autumn day. The headlines in The New York Times that day spoke about the problems of school integration. Even then our country was in turmoil. As far as I know the daily newspapers made no mention of your arrival in our world. That night on TV we watched such things as Wyatt Earp and the Arthur Godfrey Show. You were the youngest of three children born to Mom & Dad and you were instantly Daddy's little girl. Michael and I were concerned that your arrival might mean fewer Christmas presents for us. But when we found out that you were a girl we were relieved. After all, we would have no interest in your dolls and you would have no interest in our toy soldiers. In 1963 we moved from our little apartment on 51st Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn to a nice house on 70th Street in Bay Ridge. There is where you began to grow into the remarkable individual we have come here to honor today. You attended St. Ephrem's Grammar School and graduated, like most of us in the middle of your class. You never sought the top, nor would you settle for the bottom of the academic ladder. After St. Ephrem's it was on to Fort Hamilton High School. There again you maintained the same standards that you achieved in grammar school. In 1975 our little family faced its first real tragedy when suddenly God recalled Dad back to heaven. None of us could understand why God needed him back. But as a family we all persevered and, even though he was gone, you still knew that you were Daddy's little girl. After high school you went to business school, determined to make your way in the world. After graduation you got a job with the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell. There you widened your circle of lifelong friends, many of whom are here to honor you today. In the late 1970's you were ready to try the world on your own. You moved out of our house on 70th Street and took an apartment not too far away. Mom was not happy, but she did not complain. She trusted your judgment. You eventually left the law firm and went to work for Barclays Bank where you learned to be a Facilities Manager and you were good at your job. Here again your endearing smile and effervescent laughter drew more lifelong friends to you. Many of them are also here today to honor you. In between on the road of life you did what most young women do. You traveled, enjoyed plays and concerts and joined a bowling team where you threw strikes and spares and a few gutter balls and where you won trophies and attended bowling dinners. Your bowling team is here to honor you today. Eventually, at Mom's urging, you bought a house in Staten Island just a few blocks from where we are gathered today. Soon thereafter, Mom also moved to Staten Island, also just a few blocks from here. With that, you two formed a team the likes of which the world had never seen. This would also be the start of your greatest gift of self-sacrifice. Another milestone in a life of giving to others. Your house on Grant Place had character and it suited you well. You remodeled it and your house became a showplace. You drove a little red sports car. In 1996 when Mom got sick you took the reins to guide her recovery. You sold the house that you loved and, without hesitation, purchased and equipped a home to suit her new special needs. You installed a ramp to accommodate her wheelchair. You moved into the basement. You sold your sports car and purchased a minivan equipped to handle a wheelchair. You did this not out of responsibility but out of love. You two were now more of a team than ever. You took here everywhere that you could to make her quality of life as good as it could be. On nice days Mom would sit at the end of the driveway waiting for you to come home from work. The weather was nice on September 11th.In August 1986 you helped Helene and I move to a house some distance away. On August 11, 2001 you helped us move back to Staten Island. Three blocks away from you and Mom. We moved back to be closer to our family. We had planned on shopping trips and movies together, but that was not to be. We had planned on barbecues and yard sales together, but that was not to be. We had planned on holiday dinners and parties but that was not to be. In April of 2000 you were laid off by Barclays Bank. In May 2001 you got a job with Marsh & McLennan on the 93rd Floor of One World Trade Center. You liked your job. You were once again a Facilities Manager. You liked where you worked. I liked it too. We were now neighbors both at home and at work. Helene enjoyed riding on the ferry with you. She would tell me of your conversations and some plans you had for the future. Helene cannot bring herself to ride the ferry any more. On Tuesday, September 11th you followed your usual routine. You were up and dressed early. You took your lunch from the refrigerator, kissed Mom goodbye and went to the ferry. The weather was good and the Manhattan skyline gleamed. No one knew that evil in human form walked the earth that day. As you sat at your desk at 8:50 a.m. pondering the days' tasks evil struck. One of your tasks was floor Safety Director, in charge of helping others in moments of crisis. To that end your last three cell phone calls were to 911. We told Mom there had been an accident in your building and that she should not worry. We lived in agony for the next three days while my very good friends helped me to search for you in hospitals, on lists and on web sites. But you already knew what the outcome of these efforts would be. Finally on the Friday after the tragedy we told Mom the truth. Shortly thereafter we were told that Aunt Marge had a dream about you and that you told Aunt Marge that you were in a safe place, and that you were happy and that we who were left behind should not worry about you. That is when I knew that you were once again Daddy's little girl. Since September 11th there has been a hole in our skyline, a hole in our lives, and a deep bleeding wound in our hearts for which modern medical science has no cure. Because of September 11th we never got to say goodbye. Why God needed so many thousands of souls in one day, and yours among them, no one that was left behind may ever know. I can only assume that there is a severe shortage of angels in heaven, and now you are among them, and that he has some very serious work for all of you to do. So my dear sister I conclude this letter by saying that all who have gathered here today have come not just to mourn your passing but to celebrate your life. You were given to us on a Tuesday and you were taken from us on a Tuesday. The circle of life is complete but the diameter of the circle was much smaller than it should have been. You will live with us always in our hearts and we will see your endearing smile and hear your laughter. Please say hello to dad for us. Until we meet again. Love,Your family and everyone whose heart and life you have ever touched.Faithful DaughterMy brother and I try to fill the gap she left behind, but it's just not the same,' Tom Kuras said of his sister, Patricia Kuras, a 43-year-old facilities manager for Marsh & McLennan. 'She always put herself second, so that the family's needs came first.'So no one was surprised by what happened five years ago when Ms. Kuras's mother had a stroke. Without being asked, she up and sold her beloved little red Nissan sports car and the quaint house in Brooklyn that she had just remodeled. In the Grant City section of Staten Island, Ms. Kuras bought a smaller home to share with her mother. She took the basement while her mother and a live-in nurse occupied the rest of the house.'She gave so much of herself,' Mr. Kuras said of his younger sister. 'She lived for my mother.'Ms. Kuras's body has yet to be recovered. But in January, searchers delivered a small bit of closure to her family: her mother's insurance cards. She carried them everywhere. Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

October 12, 2001Dearest Patricia:

As far as I can remember I have never written you a letter before this one, and sadly I will never write you one again. In the past there was no need for a letter because you were only a phone call or at best a short ride away. Now all of that has changed.

You were born on Tuesday, September 30, 1958. The weather was fair with the temperature in the mid-60's. A fine New York autumn day. The headlines in The New York Times that day spoke about the problems of school integration. Even then our country was in turmoil. As far as I know the daily newspapers made no mention of your arrival in our world. That night on TV we watched such things as Wyatt Earp and the Arthur Godfrey Show.

You were the youngest of three children born to Mom & Dad and you were instantly Daddy's little girl. Michael and I were concerned that your arrival might mean fewer Christmas presents for us. But when we found out that you were a girl we were relieved. After all, we would have no interest in your dolls and you would have no interest in our toy soldiers.

In 1963 we moved from our little apartment on 51st Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn to a nice house on 70th Street in Bay Ridge. There is where you began to grow into the remarkable individual we have come here to honor today.

You attended St. Ephrem's Grammar School and graduated, like most of us in the middle of your class. You never sought the top, nor would you settle for the bottom of the academic ladder. After St. Ephrem's it was on to Fort Hamilton High School. There again you maintained the same standards that you achieved in grammar school.

In 1975 our little family faced its first real tragedy when suddenly God recalled Dad back to heaven. None of us could understand why God needed him back. But as a family we all persevered and, even though he was gone, you still knew that you were Daddy's little girl.

After high school you went to business school, determined to make your way in the world. After graduation you got a job with the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell. There you widened your circle of lifelong friends, many of whom are here to honor you today.

In the late 1970's you were ready to try the world on your own. You moved out of our house on 70th Street and took an apartment not too far away. Mom was not happy, but she did not complain. She trusted your judgment.

You eventually left the law firm and went to work for Barclays Bank where you learned to be a Facilities Manager and you were good at your job. Here again your endearing smile and effervescent laughter drew more lifelong friends to you. Many of them are also here today to honor you.

In between on the road of life you did what most young women do. You traveled, enjoyed plays and concerts and joined a bowling team where you threw strikes and spares and a few gutter balls and where you won trophies and attended bowling dinners. Your bowling team is here to honor you today.

Eventually, at Mom's urging, you bought a house in Staten Island just a few blocks from where we are gathered today. Soon thereafter, Mom also moved to Staten Island, also just a few blocks from here. With that, you two formed a team the likes of which the world had never seen. This would also be the start of your greatest gift of self-sacrifice. Another milestone in a life of giving to others.

Your house on Grant Place had character and it suited you well. You remodeled it and your house became a showplace. You drove a little red sports car.

In 1996 when Mom got sick you took the reins to guide her recovery. You sold the house that you loved and, without hesitation, purchased and equipped a home to suit her new special needs. You installed a ramp to accommodate her wheelchair. You moved into the basement. You sold your sports car and purchased a minivan equipped to handle a wheelchair.

You did this not out of responsibility but out of love. You two were now more of a team than ever. You took here everywhere that you could to make her quality of life as good as it could be. On nice days Mom would sit at the end of the driveway waiting for you to come home from work. The weather was nice on September 11th.

In August 1986 you helped Helene and I move to a house some distance away. On August 11, 2001 you helped us move back to Staten Island. Three blocks away from you and Mom. We moved back to be closer to our family. We had planned on shopping trips and movies together, but that was not to be. We had planned on barbecues and yard sales together, but that was not to be. We had planned on holiday dinners and parties but that was not to be.

In April of 2000 you were laid off by Barclays Bank. In May 2001 you got a job with Marsh & McLennan on the 93rd Floor of One World Trade Center. You liked your job. You were once again a Facilities Manager. You liked where you worked. I liked it too. We were now neighbors both at home and at work.

Helene enjoyed riding on the ferry with you. She would tell me of your conversations and some plans you had for the future. Helene cannot bring herself to ride the ferry any more.

On Tuesday, September 11th you followed your usual routine. You were up and dressed early. You took your lunch from the refrigerator, kissed Mom goodbye and went to the ferry. The weather was good and the Manhattan skyline gleamed. No one knew that evil in human form walked the earth that day.

As you sat at your desk at 8:50 a.m. pondering the days' tasks evil struck. One of your tasks was floor Safety Director, in charge of helping others in moments of crisis. To that end your last three cell phone calls were to 911.

We told Mom there had been an accident in your building and that she should not worry. We lived in agony for the next three days while my very good friends helped me to search for you in hospitals, on lists and on web sites. But you already knew what the outcome of these efforts would be.

Finally on the Friday after the tragedy we told Mom the truth. Shortly thereafter we were told that Aunt Marge had a dream about you and that you told Aunt Marge that you were in a safe place, and that you were happy and that we who were left behind should not worry about you. That is when I knew that you were once again Daddy's little girl.

Since September 11th there has been a hole in our skyline, a hole in our lives, and a deep bleeding wound in our hearts for which modern medical science has no cure. Because of September 11th we never got to say goodbye.

Why God needed so many thousands of souls in one day, and yours among them, no one that was left behind may ever know. I can only assume that there is a severe shortage of angels in heaven, and now you are among them, and that he has some very serious work for all of you to do.

So my dear sister I conclude this letter by saying that all who have gathered here today have come not just to mourn your passing but to celebrate your life. You were given to us on a Tuesday and you were taken from us on a Tuesday. The circle of life is complete but the diameter of the circle was much smaller than it should have been.

You will live with us always in our hearts and we will see your endearing smile and hear your laughter. Please say hello to dad for us. Until we meet again.

Love,Your family and everyone whose heart and life you have ever touched.Faithful Daughter

My brother and I try to fill the gap she left behind, but it's just not the same,' Tom Kuras said of his sister, Patricia Kuras, a 43-year-old facilities manager for Marsh & McLennan. 'She always put herself second, so that the family's needs came first.'

So no one was surprised by what happened five years ago when Ms. Kuras's mother had a stroke. Without being asked, she up and sold her beloved little red Nissan sports car and the quaint house in Brooklyn that she had just remodeled. In the Grant City section of Staten Island, Ms. Kuras bought a smaller home to share with her mother. She took the basement while her mother and a live-in nurse occupied the rest of the house.

'She gave so much of herself,' Mr. Kuras said of his younger sister. 'She lived for my mother.'

Ms. Kuras's body has yet to be recovered. But in January, searchers delivered a small bit of closure to her family: her mother's insurance cards. She carried them everywhere.

Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

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Trisha was my cousin. We lived around the corner from each other. We were never very close because of our age difference and different friends. However, there were many family gathering where we were together either at my house, her house or at my grandparents. Like many she was gone too soon. I pray that her soul is resting in peace and she is joined with the spirits of family that has gone before and since. My Dad Frank and her Mom Frances were cousins and such good friends growing up.
Patti Ann Rogan, Family
Sep 11 2016 0:07AM
I graduated from St. Ephrem's with Patricia in 1972. We are now planning our 40th Reunion. It won't be the same without Patty there. We will pay her the tribute she deserves. Rest in peace, Patty.
Barbara Riviello Guerin, Friend
Sep 11 2011 4:45PM
May God Bless you and hold you in the palm of his hand.
Bernadette Hoban, Friend
Jul 27 2011 2:30PM
Always in our thoughts and prayers. Re-read Tom's family letter to Patricia again today - she lived her life with such love - surely she is in heaven .
Greg, Laura & family
Sep 11 2010 10:46PM
I worked with you at Barclays. Today 8 years later is the 1st time I have seen any tribute to you. You were a friendly happy person who always had a smile foe all. I think of you all the time. God bless you.
SALVATORE PENNISI, Colleague
Dec 20 2009 12:28AM
Patricia and I had been friends ever since elementary school when we both lived on 70th street in Brooklyn. Our friendship lasted through manys years of joyous (and sometimes sad events). Back in 2001 when the WTC imploded, my first, second, and every thought was of Patricia. During the second week of that fateful month, I was diagnosed with cancer. Although the diagnosis was horrific, I was also devastated because I was not well enough to attend Patricia's memorial service in Staten Island - I live in northern New Jersey. Medically speaking, I am in remission; spiritual speaking, I was always miss Patricia. She is in my thoughts constantly, but moreso in September -the month of her birth and death. My prayers are with her and with you, her family. Patti September 2006
Patti Gallo (n.e. Eutize), Friend
Sep 3 2006 10:56AM
Patty and I dated all through our High School years and again for a while in our mid-twenties. We stayed in touch for most of our lives. She was one of those people whom you didn't have to wait until they were gone to say nice things about. That's quite a legacy to leave behind. I will get past this event. But, I don't think I'll get over it. . .
Chris King, Friend
Jan 21 2003 10:48AM
Patty and I worked together for several years at Barclays Bank. She was easy to be with, had a great laugh and loved to do 'the slide' not too bad a 'macarena' too. She loved her friends and family and I miss her in this world.
Kathy Murphy, Friend
Aug 28 2002 2:10PM