Family members relayed their memories of trailblazing Congresswoman Louise Slaughter during funeral services Friday.
Louise’s daughter Amy, son-in-law Michael Minerva and grandchildren Lauren Secatore and Daniel Secatore spoke to the crowd packed into the Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre.
“This is just such an honor to be here and to know how many people cared about my mother and loved her,” added Amy. “I want you to know how important that is to our family.”
Lauren said she saw both sides of Slaughter.
“I’ve never thought of her as just my grandma,” she explained. “In fact, I could not be more proud to think of her as my grandmother, the congresswomen.”
Lauren continued, “When your grandmother is Louise Slaughter, as soon as she’s done talking about your report card, she turns right back to the waitress to ask her how her own children and grandchildren are doing.”
Family members recalled she was as dedicated to her family as she was everyone in the Rochester community.
“Being stubborn is only bad if your stubborn for all the bad reasons,” explained Minerva. “But Louise was stubborn for all the right reasons. She fought tirelessly for the ideals and causes she believed in because she was grounded in her values at her core and in her heart and soul she believed in honesty, fairness equality and integrity.”
Her grandson Daniel said she found beauty in everything. During a breakfast last summer, Daniel recalls Rep. Slaughter wouldn’t let him and his family leave Slaughter’s Fairport home until she cooked them breakfast — a dish called country ham or “weaponized salt” as Daniel described it.
“As we were sitting at the table — me and grandma, my wife and my son in her lap — she looked over at my son and said, ‘My God, that’s most beautiful baby I ever saw.'”
Daniel smiled as he recalled, “I said, ‘Grandma, I appreciate the sentiment, but you also just said this ham was the most delicious breakfast you ever had, so I don’t know if I can trust you.'”
“She just smiled and shook her head and said, ‘Well they’re both true.'”
Daniel says that’s how Louise Slaughter saw the world — everything was beautiful. He says that’s how we can make a difference.
“What we can do, each one of us, is wake up in the morning and remember the world is a beautiful place,” explained Daniel. “That country ham is the best breakfast you ever had. That your son is the most beautiful baby you ever saw. And we can remember, most importantly, all that beauty in the world doesn’t come no strings attached. We are responsible for fighting for it, just like she did.”
“It’s very hard to sum up the life of someone as big as my mother,” Amy told the audience. “What I want people to remember, is that she came from humble roots, but was outspoken. She was a no-nonsense person, but she was very funny. She traveled the world, but always had time to hit the children’s museum with her grandchildren.”
“I’m certain she will be remembered for the amazing woman she was,” Amy concludes.
Louise’s daughter Amy
Son-in-law Michael Minerva
Grandchildren Lauren Secatore
Grandson Daniel Secatore