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Crash victim Katrina Lipp remembered during candlelight vigil

“She made everybody happy. She wouldn’t care if she had $5 in her bank account; she would do anything for anybody, and that’s what she did. She was the purest person I ever met in my life, and she will be missed," Kyla Jacobson said.

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Friends and family gather to remember the life of Katrina Rose Lipp during a candlelight vigil Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at Gregory Park in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Friendly, loved, smart, funny and beautiful were the words written on a picture board commemorating the life of Katrina Rose Lipp.

To friends and family, the 19-year-old was a shining light, and they’ll remember her as a joyful, caring goofball who loved her family fiercely. Funny stories of Katrina’s life, memories of the last “I love you” and a multitude of laughs and tears were shared during a candlelight vigil Wednesday, Dec. 1, when about 75 people gathered at Gregory Park to remember Katrina, who died in a car crash on Thanksgiving Day near the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

“She made everybody happy,” friend Kyla Jacobson said. “She wouldn’t care if she had $5 in her bank account; she would do anything for anybody, and that’s what she did. She was the purest person I ever met in my life, and she will be missed.”

Katrina’s siblings wished they had more time with her. Older sister Courtney Lipp recalled the two weeks Katrina spent with her in Washington state. Katrina took care of her nephew while Courtney was in the hospital having another baby and made sure to send all sorts of pictures and updates.

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Friends and family gather to remember the life of Katrina Rose Lipp during a candlelight vigil Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at Gregory Park in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Katrina’s grandma appeared by video call, telling the crowd there were friends as far away as Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom lighting a candle for Katrina. That’s how many lives she touched.

Much to the amusement of those gathered, step-brother Logan Thede — who considered Katrina a full-blooded sister and who she affectionately referred to as “Bubs” — shared a story about her barging into his room in the middle of the night in a giant, hollowed-out lifesize teddy bear just for the fun of it.

“She became my family and my sister,” Thede said, sharing memories of waiting for his sister after work and taking her to and from school.

“Nineteen is just too early, and it’s not fair,” he said. “And the one thing I can really preach to everybody — please drive safe. You shouldn’t be in that big of a hurry. And pay attention to the road, and just try to minimize the things that distract you and cause you to wreck.”

Mike Cox, Katrina’s uncle, recalled the last words exchanged between the two.

“The last words I said to Katrina were, ‘I love you. Have fun.’ The last words she said to me were, ‘I love you too, Uncle Mike.’ That was the last time I talked to her,” Cox said.

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Katrina’s step-mother, Samantha Lipp, was overwhelmed with the community support shown at the vigil.

“It was amazing to have so many people show up,” she said after the vigil. “It was better than I could have hoped for. There were more people here than I expected. There’s been an outpouring of love and support. It’s really been great.”

Katrina was a goal-oriented go-getter who was on her way to where she wanted to be, and there are many people who will never forget her.

“If this candlelight’s going to mean anything to you, I want it to mean that we’re celebrating her life, and that’s what this is,” Thede said. “This is us trying to show her that we miss her and we appreciate her life.”

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa .

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