BEDFORD, NH — Emma Catherine Bechert, 14, of Bedford, passed peacefully away in the loving arms of her family on Sunday August 21, after an exceptional life, filled with love, laughter, adventure, and amazing friends.
Emma was born in Exeter, NH, on September 25, 2001 to parents Tim and Mandy (Weinhold) Bechert. A year and a half later her best buddy, brother Owen joined her and never left her side. From a very early age Emma enjoyed music, dance, and theater and could often be seen in productions at her second home, The Palace Theatre in Manchester. Emma loved Broadway and loved to visit the big city for theater and visits to the Plaza to hunt Eloise. She loved fashion and never let her smaller stature limit her ability to express her personality when it came to clothes.
Emma was a member of a very committed Destination Imagination Team in the Bedford school system and was fortunate enough to be able to travel with these wonderful friends to Global Finals in Nashville, TN, on three different occasions. Emma was a former Girl Scout, coxswain for the Ross A Lurgio crew team, member of chorus and select chorus at Lurgio, and a member of National Charity League.
In quiet times Emma was often found curled up with a good book, usually a good murder mystery. Emma traveled to many countries and cities for vacation or family outings and was known to explore culinary options wherever she went. She was the inspiration for Team Emma’s Enchantment, a cycling team that through its participation in the Pan Mass Challenge, Emma helped raise more than $1.7 million dollars for low-grade brain tumor research. With her crooked grin and her passion for life, Emma inspired more than 40 riders to travel hundreds of miles to offer hope to children battling cancer.
Emma’s large extended family was another source of great love in her life. She looked forward to time with family at lakes, mountains, and beaches and would put gatherings on her calendar months in advance. Perhaps Emma’s greatest achievement was in never allowing sickness to define the boundaries of her world. She dreamt big and was wise enough to surround herself with people who never doubted her ability to achieve those dreams.
Emma is survived by her parents and brother of Bedford, paternal grandparents Nan and Jerry Bechert of Dayton, OH, maternal grandparents Karen and Chuck Weinhold of Hampton, NH, several aunts, uncles, and beloved cousins. She is also survived by her very special friend Brianna and the Rainey family of Bedford.
Emma’s family owes a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Sara Chaffee and the heme-onc staff at Dartmouth Medical Center as well as the loving and generous staff on 9N at Boston Children’s Hospital. Emma always preferred for flowers to remain in the garden. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her honor to any of her favorite charities: David’s House, 461 Mount Support Rd, Lebanon, NH 03766; NH Make a Wish, 814 Elm St., #300, Manchester, NH 03101, or Palace Theatre Scholarship Program, 80 Hanover St. Manchester, NH 03101.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Friday, August 26, 2016 at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 190 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford. Committal prayers followed in St. Joseph Cemetery, 448 Donald Street, Bedford.