Stories about Katie

Stories about Katie

With the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Katie, we have received so many kind words and fond memories of Katie’s zest for life, her infectious smile and laugh, and all of the lives she touched within the Flagstaff community and beyond. To honor her memory and love of life we encourage you leave your fondest memories of Katie so that her family can see her memory living through the community.

(Please note your story may not appear immediately).

Read Katie’s Obituary Here.

Listen to Katie’s Radio Interviews Here.

13 thoughts on “Stories about Katie

  1. Courtney Reply

    Oh Katie. I only got to know you for such a short time, just about a year. Your smile and laugh always brought me joy. You loved fiercely and it was beautiful to see. I loved hearing about your family and your joy of nature. Words don’t seem sufficient to encompass all that you were. Love you always and thank you for leaving your mark on me and this world, we are truly better because of you.

  2. Julie Lancaster Reply

    Story about Katie: As she was committed to courage and excellence, she would “push back” on some of my ideas from time to time. It was always coming from a good place, and her assertiveness and tact was exemplary. She had a phrase that she used that I loved. “I think we should do it a different way, and let me tell you why.” I love you Katie. Your legacy lives on. And let me tell you why. ❤️

  3. Jared Tolman Reply

    I was so saddened to hear about Katie’s passing yesterday. I had only worked with Katie a few times, but her personality, light, and energy were contagious and made me want to be a much better person. I am a better person for knowing and interacting with her; she is very missed. My family’s deepest condolences and prayers go to Katie’s husband and two children.

  4. Jessica Laessig Reply

    I always said ‘Katie was the brains and I was the braun’ of our non-profit BaseCamp RE. Our circles were always threaded together with our common interest of love for the outdoors and adventures in rock climbing and yoga. But it was our working relationship where I saw Katie’s keen sense of leadership and heart of gold shine.
    In 2017 we met up at the White Dove to discuss her master’s thesis on the PERMA framework and The Delancey Street Foundation. I was already hard at work at building a grass roots movement on reentry adventure education here in Flagstaff. It was that meeting and learning about her research that naturally we saw this serendipitous to find each other with such similar ideas. I remember leaving the coffee shop and running home to my partner, gitty- feeling so high on life that there was someone else out there just as passionate as I was about this topic. Naturally we combined forces and the spark for BaseCamp RE was ignited. Neither of us had any idea of what we were doing or how to go about creating a non-profit, but we both felt so much urgency and energy, we relied on one another during those three years in different ways. I trusted Katie every step of the way. She had an aire of confidence that I admired about her. She was a wordsmith always able to elegantly craft a meaningful and inspiring message. She spoke with great eloquence on difficult subjects and was master marketer through her stage presence and public speaking. We were paired beautifully in this symbiotic working relationship. It was during our time together she would share her love of her family, her boys Aiden, Weston, and of course Jim. She would light up when it came to spending quality time with them. I admired the way she placed healthy boundaries around her time; ensuring her family time came first. She loved being a mom.
    I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend with her. I am forever changed because of our time together, she was an amazing business partner and friend. Thank you Katie for being a light in the world <3

  5. Rosey Decker Reply

    Exactly a year ago today I met Katie, she was our coach for a company training and she was amazing. She was very outgoing and loved her job. I remember that she and I bonded because we were both gluten free and during our stay we both felt like we were constantly hungry and would joke about the lack of food for people like us. We mainly survived on oranges throughout the training, I remember talking about exchanging recipes for gluten free foods and what we both ate on a daily basis. What I remember the most about Katie is this….. she told me that “When you feel like you have nothing left to give ….. remember that feeling is temporary & you will find a way to give if its something you truly want”. She was talking about change in the mindset but that statement she gave me applies to so much in life and I use it daily. I hope that she inspired many others the way she did me.

  6. Rebecca Lamperski Reply

    Katie was full of life and love. As one of her MAPP classmates, I loved her positive energy and zest. She brought such a unique and valuable perspective to our studies and was committed to making a difference. So many loved Katie!! We will miss her. We want her family to know that she was adored.

  7. Gilbert Yslava Reply

    I just recently completed Leadership Academy with her here at MCDOT, her jokes and the love she had for her family was so beautiful.
    My family and I would love to wish her loved ones peace, comfort, courage, at this time of sorrow.

  8. Sabrina Pellerin Reply

    I met Katie at the age of 10 on our elementary school playground. We played foot tag. From that day forward we developed an unwavering friendship. We were inseparable for the subsequent 4 years through middle school. She was my first true best friend. My go-to for everything. She also fell neatly into my family. It didn’t take long for my parents to begin loving Katie like their own. She came on family vacations, she was ever-present in my life, and there was nothing I wanted more. At some stages, I was surprised she put up with me. One time, we decided to choreograph a dance to Whitney Houston’s Queen of the Night. At one point well into our efforts she gave up and started laughing hysterically and rolling around on the ground. She never let me live down that I started kicking her side “encouraging” her to get up to finish the routine. I mean, we were recording!! Katie had a way of perfecting the balance of enjoying life to the fullest and not taking anything too seriously, while also being one of the most influential and inspiring thought leaders I’ve ever known. She knew when it was time to be serious and was always so engaging in conversation. She listened. Her brilliant thoughts formulating in her mind. When she spoke, she always had something so thoughtful and meaningful to say. It often surprised me because our friendship was so joyful and fun, but as we got older, the joy and fun remained, but a mature and rewarding friendship flourished where we shared everything and learned immensely from one another. Joys, pains, heartache, change – all of the feels we shared. Katie was like a sister to me, a daughter to my parents, was my maid of honor in my wedding and truly considered a part of my family. When my dad died suddenly at the age of 62, she flew across the country to be with me and my family without hesitation. She had the idea and then carried through with bronzing my dad’s grandkids’ cowboy boots they all wore to his funeral. I could go on for hours with my stream of consciousness touting all the ways Katie made me and others better humans. I hear her contagious laugh. I see her vibrant smile. And I’ll always hold near and dear how she mothered. Her patience. Her gratitude. Her perseverance to overcome any obstacle to help make her children and everyone she loved the best they could be. She was truly the best of the best. I am so grateful of that day we met on the playground because it led to over 30 years of friendship that I will cherish for as long as I’m on this earth.

  9. Ilaina Rabbat Reply

    I still use daily a pair of earrings Katie gave me when we were studying together at MAPP. And each time I wear them, they remind me of her incredible energy and generous smile. She will be very much missed by everyone.Thanks for the time you gifted us in earth. Love you Katie.

  10. Jeff "Miles" Meilbeck Reply

    Katie was and will continue to be a beam of light.

    I remember meeting Katie and Jim about 10 years ago, in a business setting, and then working with Katie in her Wellness endeavors. Once, when I was going through a particularly hard time, I had a professional “breach of etiquette” and teared up unexpectedly sharing a personal story. Katie, true to form, thanked me for being so authentic and courageous. She had that way about her. And as sad as I am for her loss, and although this may be small comfort to Jim and the boys, her bright light lit many others. And it will continue to burn. Even a flood of tears can’t put it out.

  11. Sally Parrott Reply

    It was 1992 when my daughter Sabrina began talking about her new best friend, Katie. It wasn’t long before they were inseparable. Living nearby, she spent many days and nights with us. From transporting them to and from their favorite activities, to taking Katie on many vacations with our family, at some point it seemed like something was missing when she wasn’t around. Indeed there was something missing. It was Katie’s laughter and vibrance, and that stunning spirit that makes you feel better about yourself when you’re with her than when you’re not. As she grew, she sought my advice from time to time, and I was always honored that she valued my input. I can remember helping her talk through the pros and cons of some of the young gentleman callers that came around, all of which, of course, thought she hung the moon. Watching her transform from the sweet young girl to the awe-inspiring radiant woman she became was one of the greatest joys of my life. At the time of my surprise 55th birthday party in Virginia, which she traveled to attend, she gave me a gift. It was a magnificent mosaic of a saguaro cactus and it’s shadow, vibrant with color and beauty. On the back, she wrote, “I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for you. Thank you”. That sentiment has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I love you Katie.

  12. Leslie Santos Reply

    Dear Jim, Weston and Aiden. I am heartbroken with you. There are no words that will soften the excruciating pain you’re feeling. Know that your mom was an incredible person, and the world (especially your world) will feel dimmer without her radiance. I met Katie a month ago. Like Katie, I am a MAPP grad, though we were in different school years. I randomly reached out to her because she sparked my curiosity. She immediately replied to my request and we jumped on zoom. Within minutes we had established a rapport that felt like life-long friendship. Your mom radiated joy, happiness, curiosity, vibrant energy, compassion, and love. She was living positive psychology — living it to give it to others. You must have felt this with her every day. She loved you so much. She loved her job, making an impact, and learning. She loved collaborating on ways to help people live their best lives. I sense that whomever Katie touched, and there were hundreds, each person walked away feeling seen, heard, understood and a little brighter. I know I did that afternoon a month ago on Zoom with Katie. Katie was a very, very special person. She loved the world so deeply that it was impossible for the world not to love her back. We love you Katie.

  13. Jana Bowditch Reply

    Katie’s smile was absolutely radiant and she meant so much to so many people. She provided a wonderful micro school option for a few kids, including her son Weston and my son Jai, who are the same age, during the first full Covid school year, and it was so magical to have that gift for the kids rather than be stuck at home on a computer. I will forever love and appreciate Katie for that, and for her creativity and enthusiasm and seemingly endless skills. Katie was a very special, one-of-a-kind soul and will be so deeply missed.

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