Taking a page from the life of Michele Fast, her family and friends remembered her life Thursday as one filled with laughter and sharing, and did their best to turn her funeral Mass into a celebration.
Cookies, tacos and drinks were served afterward at St. Anne’s Catholic Church as the Seal Beach woman was praised for her selflessness.
Fast, 47, was one of eight who perished in the Salon Meritage killings on Oct. 12. Among those who spoke were her daughter Laura and son Patrick Jr.
“We’re just waiting for the moment when we realize everything’s going to be OK,” he said.
Her family, which included husband Patrick and daughter Lisa, has lived in Seal Beach 16 years.
There were plenty of sad images, to be sure, such as friend and Island View Drive neighbor Michelle Keagan instinctively reaching for her cell phone to text her friend only to put the phone back down, but there were plenty of moments of levity.
Her brother Rooney Daschbach spoke of their love of the Giants and how they together “Thanked God we saw the Giants win the World Series [last year] before we died.” Another brother, Mark, said his younger sister was the favorite of their parents—an opinion endorsed by the other siblings. “She was the absolute favorite of the household,” he said, “and we supported it.”
“Her selflessness did not start when she had children,” Mark told the packed church, which filled an auxiliary room and extended to a parking lot set up with tables and decorated with flowers and framed pictures of Fast. He recalled how she helped him get through high school by quizzing him on Spanish, sometimes waking up with him at 4 a.m. as he crammed for tests.
Mark Daschbach also spoke of his mother’s stroke seven years ago, and how there was some concern whether she would be able to speak again. Michele called every day to talk to her on the phone.
Fast was also remembered as a great cook, a person who almost never lost her temper and someone who hated to lose. To remember her, and carry on her legacy, her friend Jake Tellkamp urged everyone to "pass out more smiles than business cards."