11/25/2007 (www.suntimes.com) Chicago Sun-Times

“Farewell again, Kitty” (Kathleen Savio Laid To Rest Again)



Farewell again, Kitty

PETERSON CASE | Family says goodbye to Drew’s 3rd wife

November 25, 2007

From Sun-Times staff reports

Henry Savio dropped a red rose on his daughter's white casket during an emotional funeral service this week as Kathleen Savio was returned to her grave.

Other family members and friends somberly followed suit, adding roses wreathed with baby's breath to the new casket that was reinterred Monday at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside

The private service attended by about 30 relatives and close friends came six days after Savio's body was exhumed as part of a new investigation into her mysterious 2004 death.

Savio, 40, was found dead in 2004 in a bathtub in the Bolingbrook home she had shared with her former husband, ex-cop Drew Peterson.

Peterson is a suspect in the Oct. 28 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. As part of that probe, authorities have reopened their investigation into Savio's drowning death, which originally was declared an accident.

Savio, Peterson's third wife, died a few months after the couple had divorced, though they hadn't yet reached a financial settlement.

Savio's relatives hope the exhumation will allow authorities to prove what family members have long suspected — that she was murdered — and to build a case against her killer.

"Maybe now justice will be served,'' her stepmother, Marcia Savio, said Friday.

The years that have passed since Savio's death haven't eased relatives' pain. Going through a second burial service only made the anguish sharper, she said.

"It's heartbreaking. I hope to God no one in their lifetime ever has to see this happen to anybody," Marcia Savio said.

During the 45-minute service, family members offered remembrances of Savio.

Her sister, Susan Savio, was too upset to speak, so her son, Michael Lysak, read her final message during the graveside service:

"You finally told me what happened to you. Now you're in heaven with mom and granny. Justice will be served. I promise you I'll speak your words. I love you."

He read on:

"We would like you to know this is a ceremony of goodbye, to lay to eternal rest, Kathleen ‘Kitty' Savio. She endured much in her short time on Earth. She was a beautiful person and many love her. She made many happy, she left many footprints on so many hearts. She will be remembered and how remarkable is she? She even after death helped to solve her death. She was and always will be a strong, remarkable young woman — a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend to many. As long as she is in our hearts, she will always be near. We will all love you so much, Kitty. Farewell, travel on and be happy. Peace be with you, godspeed, God rest your soul. Goodbye, baby sister, goodbye big sister."

Marcia Savio offered another farewell:

"Kathleen, Kitty, was laid to rest today to be in eternal rest in peace. She had to go through much but this is her final journey. She is just going home. She is loved, she'll be missed. We will miss her radiant smile and laugh.

"We, the Savio family, want you to know her father was able to get Kitty one lasting, final gift. From dad to Kitty-Pop (a family nickname given by her dad) a new casket. Kathy would laugh and smile to know it wasn't cheap.

"We needed to accomplish this for Kathleen Kitty on a very limited time frame. Northlake Funeral Home and their crew, Joe and Ruben, were absolutely great, championing behind the family and making a huge effort of getting a casket on time in white, a color she said she wanted, telling that to her sister, Susan, before.

"Thank you Jackie and Judy, also a great deal of gratitude to the Wilbert Vault Co. for their swift speed for Kathleen.

"Thank you, Greg, this kind act has restored faith in the hearts of some of the family members to know there are still people who respect and care about Kathleen.

"Father Chris was here before and he is here now for her and her goodbyes to us, and ours to her. He is so gracious to be here for Kathleen today, to honor her and send her on a journey. Thank you for giving Kathleen her dignity and respect on this day."