News of Paly alum’s death reaches campus
Former Palo Alto High School varsity cross-country runner and 2010-2011 girls’ lacrosse co-captain Emily Benatar (‘11) died of complications arising from bacterial meningitis at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. on the morning of Wednesday, May 9.
Benatar,19, had been attending Washington University in St. Louis as a freshman when diagnosed with the disease last month.
Her presence will not only be deeply missed by her parents, Lisa and Darrell, and two younger sisters Isabel (‘13) and Maya, but also by the Palo Alto community as a whole.
As co-captain of the lacrosse team, E. Benatar’s energy and optimism, expressed by her constant shining smile, drew teammates to her and made a significant impact.
“She was definitely a very positive person and… [the captains] were always trying to motivate the team,” teammate Layla Memar (‘12) said. “They were the ones you could look to, who always had a smile on their faces, and could put you in a good mood and keep you focused.”
In her three years on the varsity lacrosse squad, E. Benatar contributed almost 40 goals for the Vikings and helped lead the team to two league championship games while playing as a junior and senior.
On May 9, a huge stream of supporters filled the stands at St. Francis High School to watch the girls’ lacrosse team play in the league semifinals, a game that the players dedicated to their beloved former teammate. Team members displayed E. Benatar’s jersey number, eight, in a gesture echoed by signs held by those in the stands who came out to honor her memory.
A memorial service was held for E. Benatar on Saturday, May 19 at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills.