Remembering Harper Stantz at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church

Local News

A standing room only crowd filled Saint Thomas Aquinas Church in Binghamton to pay tribute to Harper Stantz.

The pews were filled half an hour before the funeral for Harper Stantz began.

She was killed by a drugged driver last week while walking along a sidewalk near her Westside home.

Monsignor John Putano lead the Mass of Christian Burial.

He and other speakers remembered Harper for her spunk, her enthusiasm, her strong personality and her infectious smile.

Rev. Msrg. John Putano says, “I remember her in religious education classes.  And I remember how strong she was in giving her opinion.  She had that way about her.  She was right, no ifs, ands or buts.  

Cousin Colton Emmett says, “She lived life fearlessly.  Harper was not afraid of anything, except the dark.  The wild child that she was lived every day like it was her last.  Sure, she had her lazy days.  But when faced with an adventure, she would always choose the fun and risky route.”

Brother Griffin Stantz says, “Damn, I miss her.  I miss every time we would have to get out of bed and walk a mile around the block.  I miss all of the football games with her and all the movie nights we would have.  But most of all, I miss all of the wisdom she would share with me every single day.

Harper was known to embrace her own form of carpe diem, which she called Harpe Diem.

Another of her popular phrases when arriving at a party was “I’m here for a great time, but not a long time.”

Her mother says she is comforted by signs she’s receiving from Harper in heaven. “I believe she lets us know that she is whole and with God.  There are poetry and grace to be found in these moments.  There’s meaning to be found.  I feel that she is anointing us all and healing us all and the abundance of signs has been miraculous.”

Father Corey VanKuren, who is the chaplain for Wilson Hospital, spoke of Harper’s determination some time ago that she would be an organ donor, and how her donation will save many lives.

Her friend Britney Laserinko, who was also seriously injured in the crash, is still recovering from her injuries.

The Stantz family has established a scholarship fund in Harper’s honor. Donations can be sent to the Harper Stantz Memorial Scholarship Fund, care of Visions Federal Credit Union, 24 McKinley Avenue, Endicott 13760.

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