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'A flash of that smile would fix everything'

Friends, family say 'peace' to Kestenbaum during a Wednesday memorial; she was killed outside a Tempe apartment in February

 by Kyle Snow
 published on Thursday, March 8, 2007

MISSED: Carol Kestenbaum’s friends, Honora Swanson Bober, Brooke Christensen, and Megan Racobaldo, address people gathered in the Memorial Union for Kestenbaum’s memorial./issues/news/700205
Lee Kauftheil / THE STATE PRESS
MISSED: Carol Kestenbaum’s friends, Honora Swanson Bober, Brooke Christensen, and Megan Racobaldo, address people gathered in the Memorial Union for Kestenbaum’s memorial.
 

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Though cheeks were wet and sobs were heavy, many smiles appeared on the faces of friends and family at Carol Kestenbaum's memorial Wednesday night.

"When in the presence of Carol, there was no such thing as a bad mood," said Max Altschuler, a friend of Kestenbaum's. "A flash of that smile would fix everything."

More than 150 friends and family members gathered to commemorate Kestenbaum, an education sophomore, who was killed Feb. 18 by a friend's former boyfriend on her 20th birthday.

They told stories, shared a slideshow and two of her friends performed a song they wrote for her.

Kestenbaum was a girl who was never seen without a smile on her face, unless she was taking a sip from one of her straws, Altschuler said, bringing laughter to the room.

She was so full of life that it was impossible to not have a good time around her, journalism sophomore Honora Swanson Bober said.

"Her outlook on life was symbolized in her peace-sign necklace," Swanson Bober said.

Another one of Kestenbaum's friends, Porter Balke, said he also remembers the necklace, and the way she would always leave his apartment.

"She would get up, walk about five steps, turn around and say, 'Peace,'" Balke said. "That was her way of telling us she would be back."

Swanson Bober said Kestenbaum brought laughter to everyone around her, and that was no exception at the memorial as friends told stories about her.

She was a self-proclaimed Jewish-American Princess, but in the most unassuming way, she said.

Balke shared a story where Carol stormed into the house and demanded food because she was hungry. She even yelled across the house when the microwave went off, telling him the food was ready, he said.

"She was one of those girls that would always get her way no matter what," Balke said. "And she would always put a smile on your face after she got it."

Kestenbaum's life was all about love, laughter, family and friendship, said her mother, Rita Kestenbaum.

"And while we now cry for our loss, we must remember too, to laugh for her," she said. "For life is not measured in time or years, but as Carol always said, 'Measure your life in love.'"

The memorial service was streamed online for Carol's family and friends across the country and in her hometown of Bellmore, N.Y.

People can visit http://chabadasu.com/carolandnicole to learn more about Carol and a foundation set up in her name.

Reach the reporter at: kyle.snow@asu.edu.



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