A memorial mass was held Saturday afternoon at Fort Stewart’s Main Post Chapel for Kimberly Grugin Webster, wife of former 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield commander, retired Lt. Gen. William G. Webster Jr.
Kimberly Webster, who died June 22, was remembered by her family and friends in services directed by Chaplain (Maj.) Ed Martin.
“There is nothing better than being engaged in bettering relationships,” Martin said. “And that is what (Kimberly) did.”
He told the family members and friends, who nearly filled the sanctuary, that hardships are part of the Christian’s life. Suffering identifies each of us with our savior, he said.
“Suffering is something that happens to all of us,” he explained. “The cross (though) is something we choose ... The invitation to take up the cross is one of the most familiar verses, and yet it’s one of the most challenging ... Being a Christian is not easy stuff.”
Martin said sicknesses like cancer or diabetes are not something anyone chooses, but it is sometimes part of life. Kimberly, he said, accepted cancer as graciously as she did life’s blessings. He said she was a perfect example that picking up the cross is not just accepting the suffering that may come with it; it’s embracing the standard that our Lord set for us.
The ceremony began with a ritual conducted at the rear of the chapel, followed by a procession leading Kimberly’s casket into the sanctuary. The casket was followed by her husband and children, Marleah Domergue, Sarah Johnson and Capt. William Webster and their families. Later in the service, father and son participated in part of the Holy Communion.
Special Scripture readings during the service included Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, Romans 14:7-12 and John 14:1-6. Martin paused to explain some of the rituals taking place for those not of the Catholic faith. He said the first ritual, conducted while the casket was stopped at the back of the sanctuary, was sprinkling of holy water on the casket, a reminder that Kimberly was baptized in the faith.
The second ritual was covering the casket with a white cloth called a pall, which represented her baptismal garments.
Following the communion, Marleah talked about her mother as part of the eulogy, which included testimonies that Kimberly was someone who loved to give hugs. Family friend Bruce Muncher called her the original hugger and a sweet, loving person.
Marleah praised her mother as a person who believed faith, family, friends and love were the most important things in life. She told the Courier last week that her mother was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma 25 years ago, which she made public in order to encourage others coping with the disease.
Her mother fought breast cancer twice in the late 1990s and won a fight with skin cancer in 2003, she said.
“(Kimberly) has completed the circle of life,” Martin said. “She has now returned to God. Isn’t that what we all hope for?”
According to family friends, Kimberly Webster will be buried at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.