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Paly Lacrosse Student Remembered as 'Beautiful Soul'

Emily Benatar passed away after a bout with bacterial meningitis

A former Palo Alto High School student who died Wednesday from complications of meningococcal disease is being remembered as an artist, athlete and a friend.

Emily Benatar passed away at Barnes-Jewish Hospital Wednesday morning in University City, CA. Benatar was attending the College of Arts & Sciences.

Benatar was an original member of the Paly girls lacrosse team, and teammates remembered her during an emotional SCVAL semifinal game against rival St. Francis Wednesday by placing memorial notes, flowers, and drawings on the fence surrounding the playing fields, according to Paly InFocus.

Benatar, who played as an attacker on the team, had a quality about her that glowed both on and off the field, Coach Jamie Nesbitt told the Mercury News. "She was a positive influence on everyone, and her passion "made the situation better. ... She was a one-of-a-kind."

Her high school vice principal praised Benatar, telling the Mercury News: 

"She was a walking positive adjective: smart, driven, athletic, nice, wholesome," Jerry Berkson said.

Benatar, 19, was a freshman who lived in the South 40. Students held a midnight vigil for her Wednesday, according to Wash U's Student Life. 

To view an online guestbook for Benatar, click here.

Read previous Patch coverage on Benatar: 

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