Richard Desrosiers never made it to Heinz Field to watch his beloved Steelers play football, but his widow helped him fulfill his dream in death. Thanks to some help from sympathetic donors, Kathleen Desrosiers attended Sunday’s game, bringing an urn with some of her late husband’s ashes, as well as his ring and two pictures of him. He had died in March of a brain tumor.
“I couldn’t take the tumor away. I couldn’t take the pain away. I couldn’t make him better. But I can do this,” Kathleen Desrosiers, 60, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Though he lived in Exeter, New Hampshire, Richard Desrosiers adopted the Steelers at an early age and followed them closely. He named his dog Steeler and his wardrobe, by his widow’s estimate, was 95 percent Steelers gear.
Braving the biting cold and the Steelers’ disappointing 29-22 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Desrosiers waved her new Terrible Towel, showed off her painted face and warmed her head with a Steelers hat.
She called it “an overwhelming experience.”
“It’s sad to think that he got here in death,” she added. “But this is where he wanted to be. It was what he asked me to do. I got to be with him one last time while he did something he wanted more than anything else in the whole wide world.”
Amy Litterini, a western Pennsylvania native who now lives in New Hampshire, was the couple’s counselor during Desrosiers’ yearlong battle with cancer. She arranged for the purchase of the two tickets to Sunday’s game and raised money for Kathleen Desrosiers and one of her sons to spend a night in a Pittsburgh hotel.
Desrosiers was covered with a Steelers blanket when he died, and at his funeral, his two stepsons honored his memory by donning Steelers jerseys.