BOISE -- On Tuesday afternoon, family and friends remembered University of Idaho student Katy Benoit. She was murdered last week outside her off campus home, police say by a former university professor.
Her memorial service was in the Boise High School Auditorium, and nearly every seat was filled. As a reflection of her life, Benoit's service included a lot of music, and even some of her own words.
I'll say up front, Katy was special in a lot of ways: Innately kind, naturally smart, genuinely funny, and full of love and light, her brother Andy Benoit said.
In describing Katy Benoit, those who knew her best explained she was relatable and connected, but at the same time, original and unique.
Katy Benoit was not bound by a lot of the things that bind us sometimes. She wasn't bound by walls or hallways or age or convention, position, intellect, and that burst forward in Katy very early in her life, Ross Cook, a friend, teacher, and mentor, said.
Music, specifically the cello, is a love and talent Benoit was known for, something she worked hard at.
Katy knew that when you're blessed with a gift, you have to work. You have to honor that gift and you have to grind and work and throw your talent at it with tremendous passion, Cook said. Passion, bravery, courage. That's our kid, huh? That's Katy Benoit.
Benoit's brother explained her views on life and explained bonds made during life aren't broken in death.
Honestly, I don't feel like Katy and my overall relationship has changed that much. I don't feel like the part of me that Katy is has been lost in any way. That connection is grander than anything here on earth, Andy Benoit said. Katy told me that to her a physical life on earth was just one temporary aspect of a spiritual being's overall existence.
During the service, Cook also explained that Katy Benoit had spoken with her parents moments before she died.
On Katy's last night on this planet alive, she got a chance to speak to her parents for over an hour, and that was a mystical conversation because they weren't talking about anything except the greatness of Katy's life, and how happy they were, and how much they loved each other and how much katy was looking forward to being a teacher, how she was looking forward to being a college educator. She was loving her work. And at the end of the conversation, they all said they loved each other, back and forth, back and forth. We love each other. Unbeknownst anything was going to happen. Katy died moments later. Literally moments later.
After that conversation, Cook says her family felt like there are 'no regrets' moving ahead, that everything was how it should be.
We've all wanted to know why, we've all thought through the should've, could've would'ves, and how it's so sad and so tragic and things will never be the same. I know Katy's response to this, Andy Benoit said. I think she would tell us and is telling us, something like, 'Guys, quit whining about things never being the same. Things are never going to be the same anyway. That's the greatness of life. There's no such thing as the same. The universe is constantly changing.'