Tributes to Carol
March 30 - Easter Wednesday
Dear Kate and Eric,
Thank you so much for your note of January 31 last, which accompanied your pledge for
the Annual Catholic Appeal. I am most grateful to you for your support of the Appeal.
I was very glad to hear that your experience at the papal audience was such a blessing for
you, your sister-in-law and all of your family.
I am deeply grateful to Father Henry J. Breier, my secretary, who assisted you so well. Be
assured of my prayers for Carol as she gives witness to the truth about suffering in human
life. Please ask her to offer some of her suffering for the intentions of the faithful of the
Archdiocese of Saint Louis.
Invoking God's blessing upon you and your home, I am
Yours sincerely in Christ,
(Most Rev.) Raymond L. Burke
Archbishop of Saint Louis
Note: Carol was one of the last people to receive a personal blessing from the late Pope
John Paul II. The Pope's own health was deteriorating rapidly at the time and he stopped
holding audiences shortly after our trip to the Vatican. The Pope was confined to his
wheelchair and could speak only with great difficulty. Although they had only the
briefest moment together, I think he fully empathized with Carol's condition.
I have been organizing many pictures, and came across some pictures I
took for a photography class I took in the early 90's, during the time
Carol and I shared an apt. together in Ithaca. This picture, to me,
signifies our friendship, a friendship that has always been based on
supporting one another in our endeavors (all the while laughing our
In this picture, Carol shows her support of my photography by letting me
take countless pictures of her, while I show my support of Carol's
musical endeavors by photographing her as she practices her music.
Could you post this pic on the web site? I have always liked this
picture, and more importantly Carol does too.
I love the idea of presenting Carol with a place she can look at pictures and read about all the
wonderful relationships she has formed over the years. I hope this isn't too late to submit.
I have attached a favorite picture (Donna_01) which was taken at one of our monthly "Hoochie
Mama" gatherings. This picture was taken at Carolyn's the night before Katey's 40th birthday. I'm
sure you recognize most of the people in the picture, but just in case - from left to right
bottom: Shara Walden, Carol, Katey Strollo; in back: me and Carolyn Tomaino.
The official hoochie mama gatherings began last spring. Looking back I thank God we started
these monthly get-togethers when we did. It's assured us a monthly "fun girl's night". Now, more
than ever they are sooo important.
Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Carol, you have always been genuine. In school, you never seemed to even
consider who a person's circle of friends was; you were equally comfortable and warm
talking to anyone in school, without acting either superior (I can't even imagine that from
you) or obsequious. It was like all the boundaries that everyone else was feeling weren't
an issue for you-they had nothing to do with how you saw the world. Everyone was
your equal and you treated everyone with great respect and human dignity, showing
everyone your cheer and sense of humor.
One trait that some actors and actresses have is not to seem to know when they
are offstage and in regular life; they always seem to be playing a role, covering
something up. This has never been true of you. You are what you see, you're the real
thing (that sounds so 70's!). You also have enough self-confidence to be a good listener,
to really hear what someone is saying to you.
I told my father last weekend about your birthday party and your coping with
ALS. He doesn't often remember names of school friends of mine, especially if he never
met them-his head is usually in statistics or world affairs-but when I said "Carol
Buckley," he said, "Oh yes, didn't she used to act in plays and things?" I really couldn't
believe it! This confirmed to me your effect on people.
We are a culture that idolizes actors and actresses. Lots of kids in junior high
knew this already, and when they got a part in a show, some of them let it go to their
heads. Not Carol! I always have loved this about you. You are real, true, genuine, and
so good-hearted. I loved watching you on stage and hearing your gorgeous, powerful
voice. Some people didn't need a microphone, and you were one of them! This always
Thank you for everything you've given all of us over the years. Your energy,
guts, humor, and courage inspire everyone you know and meet. Thank you, Carol! I
love you so much. I love you.