The night that I posted my last posting. Election Night. The I'm so Proud to be an American night, I received devastating news. I say devastating, but not unexpected. Something happened that will change my life forever-my dear friend, Jennifer Steckler, passed away. I am still looking for exactly the right words to describe how I feel and more importantly the impact she had on my life. For just over 2 years she fought the most courageous fight with Leukemia. She has now left this earth to join our Heavenly Father, her earthly father and her brother, Jon. The funeral was one week ago tomorrow and while I still search for the perfect words and pictures to memoralize my friend I wanted to post her obituary and an incredible letter that she wrote about herself while we were in college (probably in 1994).
Obituary for Jennfier Dale Steckler
The funeral Mass for Jennifer Dale Steckler, who died Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007, at Natchez Regional Medical Center, will be at 2 p.m. today at St. Mary Basilica with the Rev. David O’Connor officiating. The Rite to Christian Burial will follow at Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.
Miss Steckler was born March 11, 1975, the fifth child and third daughter of Dale Holloway Steckler and Dr. David Robert Steckler. Miss Steckler graduated from Cathedral School in 1993, representing the student body as Student Council president and homecoming queen. She was equally active in the Natchez community serving on the Mayor’s Youth Council, volunteering for Stewpot and tutoring for Holy Family Catholic School and St. Mary’s Catholic Youth Organization.
Miss Steckler attended Mississippi State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business in 1998. While at Mississippi State, she was an active student, serving as secretary for Mississippi State University Student Association, president of Chi Omega Sorority and secretary and treasurer of Mississippi State University’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited. She represented the Mississippi State University as a Roadrunner, a Student Recruiting Officer, Pan-Hellenic Representative and an executive council member of the Catholic Student Association. Jennifer was also a member of Mortar Board and Order of Omega honorees, College Republicans and International Business Club. In 1996, Miss Steckler was honored to be voted Miss Mississippi State University by the student body. Also while attending the University, she completed internships with the office of Congressman Charles Pickering in Washington, D.C. with Federal Express in Melsbroek, Belgium, and with Comercard S.A. in San Jose, Costa Rica.
She was employed by Citigroup Financial in Tampa as a Financial Analyst and Management Associate, in Long Island, N.Y. as customer service representative and manager of human resources for North American Operations, and in Silver Spring, Md. as assistant vice president of Organizational Leadership and technology Development.
Miss Steckler also received her master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi, after which she completed internships with the Center of Community and Economic Development in Hattiesburg and the Southwest Mississippi Partnership in Natchez. She was employed with the Tennessee Tomorrow, an economic development consulting group in Nashville, Tenn.
She was preceded in death by her father; and brother, Jon Stephen Steckler. Survivors include her mother, Dale Holloway Steckler; maternal grandmother, Iris Letort Holloway; brothers, David Robert, Gerrit Joseph, Wesley Richard and Mark Andrew Steckler; and sisters, Stephanie Steckler Bryson, Suzanne Marie and Mary Margaret Steckler.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jon Stephen Steckler Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1402, Natchez, MS 39121 or call 601-442-4823.
"Why I am Special" by Jennifer Steckler
Here I am sitting in the chapel trying to get an inspiration that will get me going on my “Why I am so special” paper. It’s funny how some days your mind is full of thoughts, and others blank. I was hoping that if I sit in the Chapel of Memories that God would send something to me. Well, as you can see, I have not received anything yet. I would have to thank God for making me special. He is one of the reasons why I am special. I am very grateful for being blessed by God. He has been the root of my life. From His deep, strong root God produced a strong trunk: my family. My parents are wonderful and I love them dearly. They have nourished me through thick and thin. Their love never dies; it is an unlimited growth. With their love and support I am able to reach out and give love and support for others. This is an action I love to do. Helping others is not only making someone else feel good, but I feel like a champion. It is funny how the greatest and strongest feelings are the smallest and simplest actions. So I thank God for the wonderful gifts he gives me that make me special. My family has given me confidence and encouragement that contribute to why I am special. I love my family dearly and I am proud of my family.
Not only does my family make me special, but my friends do, too. I feel that the way people treat you influences the way you treat others. Therefore, when my friends and people on this wonderful campus treat me as a special person, I treat others the same way. This is how God’s love spreads and grows like the mustard seed. All it takes is a spark to get the flaming [sic] rolling!
You know, I am special to have shared as much time as I could with my brother, Jon. I was able to spend precious time with one now in Heaven. This makes my heart jump. Jon makes me special because he brought me guidance and strength that I am able to pass to others. Even though I get upset sometimes, deep down my heart flips that I was closer to him more than anybody. I was the one who knew how he felt and thought. This makes me feel special and warm inside. There is a quote that keeps me going, and Dr. Abraham, I have always wanted to tell you so that you may tell it to your Road Runners (if you feel that it is appropriate). This quote keeps me going, reaching for the top:
Do not pray for an easier life,
but pray to be a stronger person.
This quote makes [me] not to [want to] slack in my life, but to become stronger.I conclude that I am special from God, family, and friends that keep me going. I am a people person like State is a people university. I must end thanking God for all his love; and, I would like to thank you, Dr. Abraham, for being the special person that you are.