This didn’t garner much attention when it happened a little over a week ago, but it seems worth noting. From the Kansas City Star:
The funeral service for fashion icon and Kansas Citian Kate Spade began with the singing of “The First Noel,” because she was born on Christmas Eve and her middle name was Noel. It ended with some 1,000 voices — friends, family and hundreds of others who simply admired the designer — singing “Danny Boy,” honoring her Irish heritage.
It was in Kansas City that Spade grew up as Katy Brosnahan. It’s where she attended Notre Dame de Sion as a child and where she went to St. Teresa’s Academy as a young girl. It’s where many of her family and dear friends from her childhood still live.
It’s also where on Thursday, those who loved her gathered, on a rainy and cool first of day of summer, to remember Spade not for all she accomplished in creating a worldwide fashion brand of cheery handbags, dresses and accessories, but more for who she was inside: kind, funny, an affectionate and unpretentious soul with boundless love for the daughter she left behind, 13-year-old Frances Beatrix, known as Bea.Battling severe depression and anxiety, Spade took her own life June 5 at her New York Park Avenue condominium.
“It was a beautiful and light ceremony, just like Kate was,” said Thelma Woods of Kansas City, who entered Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Redemptorist Church for the 3 p.m. service. Like many others, she did so, she said, because she somehow felt connected to Spade through her sweet personality and the beauty of her work.
The service, a Catholic mass and remembrance that lasted past 4:30 p.m., began with an announcement that came as a shock to many.
Frank Brosnahan, Spade’s 89-year-old father, had died at his Brookside-area home the night before, surrounded by family. A statement released to The Star two minutes prior to the start of Spade’s service said that Brosnahan had been in failing health and was “heartbroken over the recent death of his beloved daughter.”
Woods said the priests at the church announced the news. “The entire church gasped in astonishment,” she said.