In Memory of Kris Okins

Comments and Memories

this is one of the saddest things I've ever encountered. kris and her boyfriend were supposed to leave tomorrow night to come and stay with me in new york city. they were going to go to the bike messenger world championships across the river in jersey this weekend.

Posted by: matthew at June 29, 2005 01:39 PM

If only I could get an overdetailed account of something mundane right now- why your keys go on one particular beltloop, why you tuck your shoelaces in (I thought I was the only one!), what designers think of the color purple, anything- I think my fingers wouldn't be so weak as I type this. Until we ride again, farewell.

Posted by: Seng at June 29, 2005 02:22 PM

this website is still somehow my loose association contact to the great city of portland...

that grrl could rock, and she will be dearly missed; thoughts and prayers to melissa, angela, mom & dad.

and to all of her extended "family" there in portland.

Posted by: Joshua at June 29, 2005 02:23 PM

Kris, get well...

Posted by: Isaac at June 29, 2005 02:24 PM

There's no way to be prepared for news like this.
I'm deeply saddened.

My heart goes out to the Okins family and all who are close to Kris.

Posted by: Ryan Simonson at June 29, 2005 02:27 PM

My prayers and thoughts go out to the Okins Family. I heard the news last night through the Windom phone chain (507 style) hang in there Kris. Get well.
Crystal Barlow

Posted by: Crystal at June 29, 2005 02:32 PM

A friend from Windom sending love and prayers to Kris and the family.

Posted by: Waylon at June 29, 2005 02:34 PM


Posted by: Jill Koski at June 29, 2005 02:35 PM

Mary, Jim & Kids-My heart aches beyond words for all of you at this time. PLEASE, PLEASE let me know what we can do back here at home. Are your kitty & puppy dog ok where they're at? Let me know!



Posted by: Sue A. at June 29, 2005 02:36 PM

My deepest condolences to the Okins family.

Posted by: Naz at June 29, 2005 03:13 PM

Kris was such an amazingly creative person. We were in many art classes together in high school. My heart and prayers go out to her family.

Posted by: Michelle (Esplan) Sleiter at June 29, 2005 04:12 PM

Kris was one of the first friend i had in high school; her talent, smiles, stories, and i feel lucky to have known such a kind hearted, and wonderful person.

Kris left an impact on me, i am forever grateful for that..
I will miss you Kris...

Posted by: Isaac at June 29, 2005 04:48 PM

I love my darlin' more than anything. Thank you to all her family and friends for loving her too.

Posted by: Billy Spaceman at June 29, 2005 04:50 PM

i'm not a friend...just a lurker of the blog, who experienced a very personal tragedy this past fall. i'd like to recommend to the okin family an organization called compassionate friends. it is a national organization of support for families dealing with the death of a child. my family and i have found it very helpful...grief is a very individual, personal process...but sometimes it helps to be with people who are already traveling this path...please take good care...

Posted by: heather at June 29, 2005 05:03 PM

She was a student of mine at MCAD - wIcked smart and very talented. Always good for a smile.

My condolences to her family and friends.

Posted by: Andrew R. Jenkins at June 29, 2005 05:42 PM

My heart breaks for the Okins family. Kris was so independent and adventurous. I cannot imagine the pain and heartache in losing her. One day you will cherish all the great memories; which will keep her alive in your hearts and thoughts. Wish there was something I could do for all of you.

Posted by: Lauren Draplin at June 29, 2005 05:45 PM

She used to ask a million questions. About everything—be it how to load some software or if I had a certain font or where to find a certain lo-top pair of black Chucks. She was relentless, and wouldn't let up until she got her answer. And then she'd write it down in the tiniest of journals with the tiniest of pens.

This went on for some time. And man, I was runnin' out of answers. So I gave her a "10 questions a day" limit.

"I only get 10 questions?!," she protested. (...of course.)

"Well, now you got 9 to go. Better use them wisely."

And so it went.

- - - -

Times are tough right now and I'm fighting to remember her for what she was to me: This scrappy, inventive, relentlessly inquisitive, independent-thinkin', vegefied, adventurous little redheaded firecracker who had the guts to hop a train out to Portland, make and mend her own little clothes and take everything on in "her" own way, no matter the cost or outcome.

Sometimes the smallest are the toughest, and she often proved this when faced with challenges.

So here's to you, "Little Kris" with the little voice—and well, little everything—but, with the big spirit.

Posted by: Aaron James Draplin at June 29, 2005 10:19 PM

it's always very sad to hear about a cyclist fatality.

i didn't know kris, but my thoughts go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.

kris, i hope the streets are smooth and safe wherever your journey takes you.

Posted by: rachel at June 30, 2005 07:36 AM

KRISTINE ANN OKINS July 18th,1979 Wilmar,Minnesota to June 28th,2005 Potland,Oregon.

It is said that time heals all wounds,but the grief of losing a child is like a rock holding the wound open,your thoughts and prayers are the wind that will help our tears of sorrow wear this away until time can leave it as just a scar on our hearts.Thank you for your support as we begin the difficult task of saying goodbye to our daughter.Bon voyage Kristine,until we meet again happy trails to you,you will be in our thoughts forever.

Posted by: jim& mary okins at June 30, 2005 09:56 AM

Mary, Jim, Missy, Ang, & Matt,
I cannot begin to imagine what you are all going through. My heart is breaking for you all and just pray that time will pass swiftly for your hurting hearts and souls.
Missy, you especially have always been such a (delightful) part of our family, we want you to know you are in our hearts and prayers at this time that should be such a happy one for you. We are SO sad. We love you. Jennifer and Dean

Posted by: Jennifer & Dean Karschnik at June 30, 2005 10:09 AM

i'm not sure if kris felt the same about me, but she was my best friend during our last couple of years at MCAD and up until she moved to portland. i can't express how much it hurts to not be able to tell her that i miss her and how i often think of our adventures together.

Posted by: Isara at June 30, 2005 10:22 AM

Jim, Mary and family,
You have been in our thoughts and prayers everyday and we will continue to pray for you. We can't imagine what you are going through so won't even try to pretend that we can understand. Know that there are a ton of people back here that love and are praying for you. If there is anything that you need just call. Love, Mark and Tammy Hall

Posted by: Mark and Tammy Hall at June 30, 2005 10:32 AM

Kris was a such unique presence during my time at MCAD, and was the friendliest face I've ever been so consitently greeted with while doing my grocery shopping. My deepest symapthies go out to her family and close friends. She has a truely memorable spirit.

Posted by: Lindsey at June 30, 2005 10:39 AM

Melissa. Mary, Jim, Matt & Ang.
I cannot express how sorry I am to hear about Kris. My first thought when I heard from Missy Tues. night was to get the first flight to Portland to be with my friend and try to help her through this.
Growing up through the years with your family - it didn't take long to see what a special friendship Kris and Missy had.
Why does it seem that only the best have been taken from our lives - no reasons - no answers.
Only time will ease the pain, but you'll always have the awesome memory of her life and how she lived it to the fullest.
My deepest Sympathy to you all.

Posted by: Jasmin at June 30, 2005 10:42 AM

kris and i attended art classes together, both in high school and at mcad. she always had a welcomed view on many things. truly a creative person with a strong drive to succeed at whatever was in front of her.
my deepest sympathies go out to her family.
kris will definitely be missed, by many, many people.

Posted by: joshua horkey at June 30, 2005 11:04 AM

For a while, we shared that apartment on Garfield. Kris became my unexpected confidant. Endearingly peculiar at times, adorably so. She possessed fierce determination, and was intensely loyal. Aesthetically keen. Slight in person, mighty in spirit, and able to find reward in the smallest facets of life. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

Posted by: Shawn Hoekstra at June 30, 2005 11:04 AM

kris was one of my favorite friends at the wedge co-op. we bonded over standing at the registers for hours, talking about bikes and sharing sewing secrets. i'm deeply saddened by her passing and remember her fondly.

Posted by: emily moore at June 30, 2005 11:18 AM

Kris was my Best Friend when we where growing up. It was always fun going to her house to the basement to our little club house and playing night games with all of our friends. Yes we grew apart when growing up but I always thought about her now and then. When I found out of her passing I was deeply hurt and all of my prayers went out to her family and friends. Gods Blessings to her Family And Friends.

Posted by: Becky Torkelson Contreras at June 30, 2005 12:43 PM

We went to see Weezer together at First Avenue. She insisted that we get up close. I was scared. The crowd was shifting and buzzing in a sea of new wavers. My fear was evaporating. And then it all crumbled. The crowd leaned a bit too much to the left and we toppled. I was stuck under knees and elbows. Kris pulled me out, her grip focused on my wrist, and her eyes and ears focused straight ahead. She couldn't bare to look away from the beautiful sight of Rivers Cuomo's hair. And for that, I loved her.

I don't get it. I don't understand. Bye Kris.

You will be missed terribly. Terribly.


Posted by: Troy Williams at June 30, 2005 12:54 PM

I only met Kris once ... in Portland. Kris, Melissa, Aaron, and I had dinner and ice cream afterwards. I am deeply saddened for your loss, and my prayers and thought are with you all.


Posted by: Mark Michaylira at June 30, 2005 01:30 PM

Kris and I met when I worked the morning shift at voodoo doughnut. She was a regular and loved the vegan loops. That isn't it though... Kris was at the doughnut shop when My fiance and I met for the first time. She was the reason I went outside to talk to her. She encouraged me to take a chance.

Now because of that chance I am in a happy place with someone I love very much.

I owe Kris alot for something that came so easy... so simple for her. Just being cool was who she was. It was effortless the way I smiled when she would come visit. I will never forget her gentle eyes and the warmth she brought into my life.

And the truth is... I hardly even knew her.

her charm was just universal.

Kate and I send our hearts out to everyone she loved and who loved her.

please ride safe everyone...

and Kris... thanks for the shove.

You will not be forgotten.

Posted by: ben barnett at June 30, 2005 01:41 PM

Kris, You were super fun to hang out with when we were freshmen in the Leper dorm at MCAD. I remember driving to St. Cloud with you. I remember seeing you after MCAD at the Wedge and around town. I remember your large green car. You were a very kind and very creative person. You made going to MCAD a fulfilling rad time.

Posted by: Michael Gaughan at June 30, 2005 01:51 PM

This is so sad. I was trying to track down Melissa and came accross the horrible news. It is obvious by this site and for everyone that knew her that Kris was such a wonderful person! My thoughts and prayers go out to the Okins family.

Posted by: JT at June 30, 2005 02:23 PM


Posted by: trafior at June 30, 2005 03:39 PM

i did not know kris, and i don't even live in the united states (new zealand is home). it sounds like kris was a wonderful wonderful person.
i would like to say that i'm so sorry to hear of the okins' loss, sorry to for all her family & friends who lost such a loved person.

i'm sure she's smiling down on you all.
my thoughts & condolences.

Posted by: j at June 30, 2005 04:07 PM

Melissa & Michael, Mary & Jim, Matt, and Angela;

Many thoughts and questions have bombarded our minds since Kristina's passing, but the first thing we wanted to do was be by your side and let you to how much we care! We want each of you to understand that there is no way for us to even fathom how much pain each of you involved and all the rest of her friends and family from all the places Kristina touched are experiencing. We offer you our sympathies and wishes that may you find peace and understanding to continue on living your own lives. We know you each will cling to the greatness of which Kristina was made of and cradle her memories forever close. You are in our thoughts and prayers always!

Posted by: Brian & Jimmie at June 30, 2005 05:12 PM

Right now the Wolf is freshly fed and laying on the rope couch in the very spot, I swear the very same spot, right where the cushion unravels and sags, from which bike tires were meticulously mended and Barishnikov movies were endlessly watched just a summer or two ago. I don't know if he knows this or is able to remember his old roommate and friend, but I do, I do. Even with the distance and staggered phone calls, Kris' sudden absence is by no means any easier to accept. I will keep the memories, even the tiniest ones involving couches, and the couch, despite the sagging cushions, and she will still be around, I think.

I am so sorry Mary, Jim, Matt, Missy, and Ange. You have so many hugs waiting for you when you get home.

Posted by: Natalie Kern at June 30, 2005 05:42 PM

kristine, we hope that you have found peace in your new journey. our hearts go out to you and your family. billy, there are no words to convey the sense of sorrow i feel for you and kristine's family. be well, enjoy today and please be safe.

Posted by: joshua hutchens at June 30, 2005 06:31 PM

I still don't really believe it happened. I keep finding myself speaking in cliches. After reading through the comments on the memorial page I realize how little I knew about her, all the people she's known, her friends, family. It's such a horrible way to find out. I miss her but I wasn't her boyfriend, I wasn't her sister, I wasn't her father. Her death leaves a gaping hole in so many lives.

I won't presume, but I believe that she'd rather we all focus on the positive. To appreciate all the wonderful times we spent with her. Towards that end I've been gathering together the photos I've taken in the year plus that I knew her. It's been frustrating because she was almost impossible to take a picture of. You'd point the camera at her and she would continually make the strangest faces, close her eyes, anything but let you try and take a proper photo. I can't tell you how many photos I deleted. I'm so sad to see her go.

If you'd like to look at the photos:

Posted by: andrew morton at June 30, 2005 06:52 PM

I knew Kristine only briefly from working with her at the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis. She touched me with her enthusiasm, her dedication to what she believed in, and most of all her drive to accomplish whatever she decided to do. I'm so saddened by her life being so tragically cut short, but take solace in the fact that she was doing exactly what she wanted to do when she was called upstairs. Thank you Kristine for being in my life, however briefly. -Veronica

Posted by: Veronica Shaw at June 30, 2005 06:56 PM

i knew kris only briefly...we met fast were together shortly and ended things heart goes deeply out to her family... even tho' i'm sure i'd never see or speak with kris ever again i'm very sad to know she's not with us in this world anymore. i always wished i'd bump into as i rode my bike down franklin ave.(mpls). i never deserved to be appart of kris' life but i'm glad i was let in for that time. those wheels truely have wings now...


Posted by: eric lappegard at June 30, 2005 08:35 PM

Our thoughts go out to Kristine, her family, and friends...

Take care,

Posted by: Anonymous at June 30, 2005 08:58 PM

I went to school with Kristine. I'm so sorry to hear about her accident. My prayers go out to her family and friends... the class of '98 will never forget you, Kris!

Posted by: Sara at June 30, 2005 09:16 PM

I knew Kris only briefly also...I was kind of interviewing / dropping of a portfolio with Aaron when he was working in SoCal. I believe Kris was interning or something but plugging away on the keys creating. Mind you I did not know Aaron very well and when you talk to him the first couple of times he can seem very intimidating. While looking around at all his cool stuff and listening she gave me a little reassuring wink. I think this was one of those "don't fret, his bark is bigger than his bite" kind of things. It was nice to know that she kind of sensed what I was going through at the time. Thanks.


With two wheels and your wings you'll be quite a sight

Posted by: Jerms at July 1, 2005 07:33 AM

Kris was one of the only people I have ever known who really did what she wanted. Neither fear nor finance could stop her from venturing into a new endeavor that she had her mind set on. She always found a way to make it work. She had convictions that were strong, and quirks that were endearing. She was my friend.

Kris introduced me to her roommate whom I had seen around school. We ended up getting married a few years later. I can�t think of where our lives would be now if we hadn�t known her.

For being such a pocket-sized person she had a gigantic heart. She played such a huge role in our lives and we are thankful to have been a small part of hers.

She will not be forgotten�.


Posted by: Ali Hoekstra at July 1, 2005 09:10 AM

As I sit in this cluttered room that used to be Kristine's bedroom I can't help but think to find the things that remind me of her. The remnants of Kristine's Ikea shopping spree still drape the windows and make a nice shelf out of the radiator, and she even left a coat in the closet. When Kristine left for Portland she spoke as if she would some day come back and I always thought she would come back, if even for a week. I haven't seen Kristine since she went to Portland, but when we spoke over the phone she seemed really happy and content there. She was part of my life for some of the best parts, and she will be missed greatly.

My heart goes out to you Mary, Jim, Matt, Missy, and Ange.

Posted by: Justin at July 1, 2005 10:22 AM

I didn't know Kris real well in high school, but I did know that she was a funny and kind person. Kris and the Okins family will be in my thoughts and prayers always. Take care.

Posted by: Darla at July 1, 2005 10:39 AM

We have fond memories of Kris and the gang(Aaron,Poohki, Josh and assorted others) hanging out at the house after swimming at String Lakes. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Mary and Jim, Missy, Angela and Matt.
"I believe that friends are like quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."anon.

Posted by: Mari and Bruce Horkey at July 1, 2005 11:42 AM

From the entire staff at City Sprint Delivery, please accept our sincere and deepest sympathies to all of Kris's friends and family. She is adored by everyone and her loss is felt by all of us. She will be deeply missed by all. To help the family through these very difficult times, City Sprint has set up a trust/donation account in her name at US Bank. Donations can be made at any branch.

Posted by: Dave Clancy at July 1, 2005 01:15 PM

I went to high school with Kris. She was a really nice person. My prayers go out to the Okins family and to Kris. The class of 98 was special and she will never be forgotten.

Posted by: Nick at July 1, 2005 02:41 PM

It's amazing when friends of friends go out of their way to share the news about the loss of someone whose life was admirable.

I remember Kristine today. Recommending videos to some confused kids during the teenage years. Smiling at the absurdity of our behaviors. Chatting it up at shows in the Entry about our hometown hipster pins. Rocking those Sonic Youth t-shirts during the wait between classes at WAHS. Quickly extending a handshake or hug, whatever the circumstances or the situation.

Angela, Missy, Matt, Mary, and Jim, your sister and daughter will be remembered as a great person.

We step out into the world today, remembering Kris as an example of the sunlight of the spirit, and look to spread a new happiness, peace, and ease into the lives of others. "507->

Timmy, Steven, Andy, Ross, and many more.
507 / 605

Posted by: Timmy Smith at July 1, 2005 02:42 PM


Posted by: KATHY FREIBORG at July 1, 2005 03:34 PM

I can't even begin to know what words to express on here.
I didn't know Kris well, but just the few times that I was over at the house and she was home...the udder silence
that was created in the atmosphere of OK-ness and acceptance.
The almost, "I'm here, you're here. We don't really know each other but hey, that's ok" that I felt
everytime she was around.
Ange, I appologize that we have lost touch and I know we didn't always see eye-to-eye,
but I cherish you and your family and sincerely offer my sadness and sympathies.
I hope that you come back here soon so Missy and I
can be here for you in this sad time, along with your other friends back here.
Missy, Matt, Mary and Jim, I am so sorry that this has happened.
She will be terribly missed by many and remembered by all.

Posted by: Miranda Robinson at July 1, 2005 04:26 PM

I am shocked and saddened at this news. My thoughts are with Kristine and her family and friends.

Posted by: M. Peterson at July 1, 2005 06:43 PM

Words escape me to explain my profound sorrow for you, Mary Ellen and your family. While I only saw Kristine a few times she always made such an impression - what an incredible young woman. So full of vigor and life. She will live on through her art, and the lives she touched. We are thinking of you guys all the time.
Ann, Brad, Bee, and Jess

Posted by: Ann Swanson at July 1, 2005 08:26 PM

It is hard to know what to say. I can't imagine what you are going through. Many people are asking about you and extending their sympathy. You are in my thoughts constantly. I am so sad and it hurts so much. Kristine was so talented and special. We will see you when you get home.

Posted by: Jackie at July 1, 2005 09:50 PM

I don't know what to say. For two days now I have felt deeply saddened, then strangly calm, and then in a slight state of panic (the same sort of panic I get when my son disappears from my sight for my than a few minutes).

Kristine. I have thought about you and Missy for awhile now and have wondered about how things out west were. I was showing pictures of the both of you to my girlfriend just last week and thinking about skateboarding, string lakes, basement movies, and "having some decorrum." :)

Happy to rekindle some of our friendship back in MPLS, sad when you left.

I miss you and I love you Kristine. You were an important figure in a good part of my life growing up and I will always replay those memories.

***If anyone could get ahold of me and tell me what is going on that would be good. I want to know if, when and where there is a funeral as I would like very much to try to attend. Thank you.***

Posted by: Poohki at July 2, 2005 01:41 AM

Mary, Jim and Family.
Words can not express what we are
feeling for you and your family.
Just know you are in our heart with thoughts
and prayers. May the hugs of family and friends
hold you tight to help you through the hard times
ahead. <><

Posted by: Deb and Ted Horkey at July 2, 2005 10:47 AM

I hope that I never have to bear the loss the loss of a child. I have no words to express that can make this time any easier for you and you're family. My prayers are with. God Bless, Craig

Posted by: Craig Hettenbach at July 2, 2005 12:30 PM

Mary, Jim, and Kids,

My sincere sympathy to all of you. Children are suppose to bury their parents, not the other way around. I know how it hurts to lose a parent, to have a son diagnosed with cancer, but I can't imagine what you must be feeling to have lost a child. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Jean Hoppe

Posted by: Jean at July 2, 2005 04:18 PM

To the Okin's Family: You have all been in our thoughts and prayers constantly since hearing the news about Kris. It's so hard to find the words to tell you how sad, stunned, and so very sorry we are to hear about her death. Please know we are here for you if you need anything. When we think about Kris, here a few things that immediately come to mind: So incredibly and beautifully unique; a carefree spirit; an amazing talent; a huge proponent and lover of the Arts; someone who approached life, embraced diversity and differences with an open mind, dared to question, confront, and challenge issues head-on; a free thinker; a progressive thinker; a life-learner; a friend. A personal note from Kathy for Kris: I sat down with my guitar yesterday and sang "Sand & Water" just for you.... You will be missed and never forgotten. Love to all of you.

Posted by: Jay, Kathy, Matt, Josh, & Rachel Ward at July 2, 2005 04:39 PM

Jim, Mary, Melissa, Matt & Angela,

Please know you and Kristine are in our thoughts and prayers. It was a shock when Larry called to let us know of the tragidy. She was such a fire cracker, the world will truly be less without her.

Dave, Shirley, Gayle & Jessica

Posted by: Dave Melges at July 2, 2005 08:42 PM

I had the honor of living next to Chris on Garfield and Franklin for 8 months, during my last semester at MCAD. She was so thoughtful, always checking if I needed a ride to school with all my photography equipment on those cold Minnesota winters. That big green car would take forever to warm up. Two years after I moved to Portland and saw her selling books on Alberta, then again selling treats to raise money for her all girl bike team. Those are just a few of my memories of Chris. On Friday night, I attended the Bike Ride in Memory of her and said good-bye to my friend, classmate, and neighbor.

You will be missed.

Posted by: Devon Driscoll at July 2, 2005 09:42 PM

From the testimonials and condolences posted, I have learned what a special young woman Kristine became. I knew her as a unique little girl that had cheese pizzas at a picnic and never wanted to leave a family gathering without taking something with her. As you leave this time Kristine, you take a part of those who lives you have touched. You created and left behind many memories. Mary, brother Jim, Melissa, Matt, and Angela, I am sending my thoughts and prayers to you as a part of the wind that I hope will help heal the wound on your hearts.

Posted by: -Linda at July 2, 2005 09:49 PM

Kristine's friends in Portland came together to honor her on Friday, July 1st with a memorial ride. Photos of the ride can be found at:

Posted by: andrew morton at July 3, 2005 12:11 AM

I remember Kristine, and her family, from my trips to Lamberton with my grandparents when I was a kid. Years later, I ran into her at a family function, and was impressed by what interesting and creative person she had become. My heart goes out to her family--I cannot even imagine the pain you are going through. I will keep all of you in my thoughts.

Posted by: Jessica Rongitsch at July 3, 2005 08:08 PM

Jim, Mary, Melissa, Matt,and Angie
There are no words we can possibly write to make the pain go away. Only be there for you in any way to help make the rocky road smoother.

Dale and Vicki and Kids

Posted by: Vicki at July 4, 2005 09:29 AM

When I heard the news, I just couldn't believe it. I just sat there for a minute trying to let it set in. I went to school with Missy. Although I didn't know Kris all that well, I do know that she was an incredible person. She will be greatly missed. I send the Okins family my deepest condolences and my prayers are with you.
Missy - I know that we haven't really talked in years. My heart aches for you and your family. Know that I am thinking about you.

Posted by: Kelly (Penner) Brown at July 4, 2005 06:33 PM

Mary&Jim&Family, Our hearts and prayers go out to you. We are so sorry about Christine. We are thinking about you and your loss.We will see you when you get home.

Posted by: Connie & Bill at July 5, 2005 10:06 AM

What can I say, my couch buddy is gone. I've spent the week wandering around New York trying to wrap my mind aroudn this tragedy. It's hard being so far from Portland. My heart goes out Kristines sisters and Billy, and every one else left behind.

Posted by: Erik at July 5, 2005 11:11 AM

To the Okins Family ~ My heart goes out to you alll and you are all be in my prayers and thoughts. Your family as always brought me alot of joy through the years. Kris was surely a unique woman who truely was one of kind. No words could express the sorrow I feel for you and your family at this difficult time.

Posted by: Jessica Kalash at July 5, 2005 02:00 PM

Mary, Jim, Missy, Matt, and Angela,
I am so truly sorry for your loss. My heart is heavy for all of you. Mary, as a mom I can't begin to know the pain you are going through, and Missy and Angela, the loss of a sister is like the loss of a best friend. There is a whole town full of people who are thinking of and praying for you. Kris will forever live in your hearts. May God Bless you and keep you.

Posted by: Cindy H at July 5, 2005 03:20 PM

my most sincere condolences to any and all affected by this tragedy. my heart is with yours. Pete: Boston

Posted by: Peter D Rubijono at July 5, 2005 04:39 PM

I am stunned. I wasn't close with Kristine but nonetheless I am deeply saddened to hear this news.

We hung out a few times when she first moved to Portland and subsequently I would see her around the streets or at the restaurant where I worked. She was defined for me by the limited view I had of her, but nonetheless the qualities that I observed in her were wholly endearing: she had an intense devotion to her sisters and the degree to which she loved bicycles was enough, even, to intimidate me! She had a charming voice, inquisitive eyes and a grin when she talked that would disarm you.

My condolences go out to Billy and to her family. Melissa and Angela, I know we don't know each other well, but if there is anything I can do, do not be afraid to call upon me. Kristine will be in my thoughts as I bike these Portland streets, surely without the speed she was brave enough to give them.

Posted by: jack saturn at July 5, 2005 06:50 PM

Okin's family, I am sorry to here about Kris. The toughest time is yet to come trust me, but lean on each other and the people around you. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.


Posted by: Anonymous at July 5, 2005 07:28 PM

Okin's family, I am sorry to here about Kris. The toughest time is yet to come trust me, but lean on each other and the people around you. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.


Posted by: Dorothy Oeltjenbruns at July 5, 2005 07:30 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends during this time. May God keep you in his tender loving care.

Posted by: Krista (Alm) Ott at July 5, 2005 08:10 PM

Dear Okins Family - We can not imagine the pain you are going through but we hope that the memories and support of family and friends will help you through it. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Bruce and Erin Toninato

Posted by: Bruce and Erin Toninato at July 6, 2005 08:55 AM

To My Aunt and Uncle, Jim and Mary and to my cousins Missy,Matt,and Angela. I am deeply sorry about your loss. May Kris Rest in Peace.

Posted by: Craig Nester at July 6, 2005 09:46 AM

I remember Kristine as a wonderfully unique, creative, kind and open-minded individual. After reading these thoughts, memories, and stories, it is evident that she made friends and impacts on people wherever she was. I hope the words from these friends and family bring comfort to all who miss her. She will be remembered well.

Posted by: Caroline Olson at July 6, 2005 10:29 AM

I had already left Portland for NYC and got the news there. I don't think this will fully sink in until I go home. I will miss talking to Kristine about knitting when it's slow at work. I hope all we all had a great time in New York at the CMWC for her.

Posted by: Hazel at July 6, 2005 10:50 AM

Jim and Mary Okins and Family
So sorry to here about Kristine. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I can't even imagine the pain you are going through. Keep her memories alive in your heart and it will help heal.

Posted by: Brant JoLynn Nerhus and Family at July 6, 2005 05:14 PM

I am so sorry that those close to Kristine have to accept this loss. This weekend at the CMWC race course we messengers embarked on a group ride that must have been 15 miles or so in length. Before our departure, some loving words were said about Kristine. There were so many people gathered. I am not sure that everyone could hear that the ride was being dedicated to her. As the words struggled to stand out in the echoing voices, tears overfilled my eyelids and slid relentlessly down my face. We had a good ride, even with some suffocating hearts. I wish she was there with us.

Portland has been like a second home to my friends and I here in Seattle and we are for ever effected.

Posted by: Bryce at July 6, 2005 07:26 PM

i tried to start this about a dozen times...what a terrible thing to happen to someone so full of life and vigor. kris- i'll always remember you and your awesomeness from the wedge and from living just a few houses away on garfield avenue. hopefully, wherever your soul is right can continue to be adventurous (jumpin' on trains!) and creative (making BEAUTIFUL things). i can wholeheartedly say that you made a huge dent on us at the wedge that will never be replaced. we will miss you. thanks for being a part of my and our lives.

Posted by: Allison at July 6, 2005 10:11 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with the Okin family.

Posted by: Ralph Stinger at July 7, 2005 11:50 AM

What a horrible thing to happen! I hadn't seen Kris for years, we went to highschool together and only stayed connected for a year afterwards.
She will be missed.

Posted by: Peggy at July 7, 2005 11:51 AM

i never met kris but my heart goes out to all in her world who now can hold her can not speak to her can no longer be in her orbit ride on kris

Posted by: kevin at July 7, 2005 01:59 PM

i never met kris but my heart goes out to all in her world who now can no longer hold her can not speak to her can no longer be in her orbit ride on kris

Posted by: kevin at July 7, 2005 02:00 PM

I never met Kris either, but I ride a lot in Portland and her death has really affected me. If you want to pay your respects to Kris, there is now a memorial bicycle at the crash site with the following message:

Kristine Ann Okins
7/18/1979 to 6/28/2005

Killed by Truck

I imagine you riding a bicycle similar to this one as a child, having the kind of adventures that can only be had on a bicycle.

May your tires always be full of air, your chain oiled, and the wind at your back.

Rest in Peace.
We all love and miss you.

Please feel free to stop by and add your flowers, candles and memories. West side of SW Broadway between Washington and Alder.

Posted by: Randy at July 7, 2005 03:01 PM

I remember my dear friend, and celebrate, with tears in my eyes, all the time we got to share. Kristine was one of the first people I met here - even before she had moved here - and she will always be a part of my fondest thoughts of this beautiful place.

To her loving family - my heart is with you. Let us mourn our loss, but moreso let us cherish the beautiful life she led and the joy she brought into everyone's hearts.

Posted by: BLDZR at July 7, 2005 04:28 PM

Mary & Jim, Missy, Matt, and Angela,
Words can not express the heavy heart I had when I recieved the message late Tuesday afternoon. In behalf of myself, my family, and the "Class of 72" our prayers go out to you and your family. I will see you all on Saturday morning, and I am bringing you a "chocolate cake". Until then, God be with you always.
Friends and Classmates of Mary Ellen Anderson Okins~Lamberton High School.

Posted by: Robin & Eldon & my three sons at July 7, 2005 05:01 PM

Dear Dear Mary and Family, My heart goes out to you. I know I met Kris many years ago - when she was just a little girl. As I read thru the many memories I could see such a energetic, loving young women that had touched the lives of so many in such a short time. My prayers continue for you and your family and always remember I am just a short distance away if you need anything or just want to talk. God Bless, Deb

Posted by: Deb Bottem Grimmius at July 7, 2005 07:58 PM

Dear Mary and Family,
I was so saddened to hear of the bicycle accident that took the life of your daughter. I've read through all of these postings and viewed the pictures/slide shows posted here - What a tribute to an incredible young woman!
May God give you peace and grace to get through this terrible time. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Gail Kelly - Class of '72 Lamberton, Minnesota.

Posted by: Gail Kelly at July 7, 2005 09:10 PM

My heart goes out to you all. I did not know Kris personally - she was a few grades older than me in school, but I do remember her and how I admired her sense of creativity. She was very talented.

Matt and Angie - my thoughts immediatly lept to you two because I knew you both in school. My thoughts and prayers are with you as I cannot imagine the heartache you are going through. I will think of you often.

~Kellie Scott

Posted by: Kellie Scott at July 7, 2005 09:20 PM

I went to high school with Kris in the class of 98, and had art classes with Matt. I didn't have the honor of knowing Kris very well, but from what I do know, she was a very talented and artistic person.
As evident from the numerous messages, she was very loved and dearly cared for and will be missed tremendously. Please know that I feel terrible about your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Sarah (Baumann) Hilpipre at July 8, 2005 12:04 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. My the peace of God be with you all.

Posted by: Dave Wetter and family at July 8, 2005 06:13 AM

We are very sorry to learn of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by: Rod and Katie at July 8, 2005 07:38 AM

Thinking about you and praying for God to help you through this difficult time.
Pam & Lee Steffen

Posted by: Pam Henkel Steffen at July 8, 2005 07:40 AM

For our anniversary I bought Kristine live pottted daisies. When I gave them to her, they were just budding. A few days after she left us, three of them blossomed. I recall when we first met, she told me that the daisy is her favorite flower. "How odd", I thought, "daisies are just so... common." As I look at her daisies now, I suddenly find their appeal. Common? No, they are there when you need them most, I see so much of her in this flower!
They are hearty and warm, they are bright and friendly but never obtrusive. They have a universal appeal, from hippies making daisy chains to rugged cowboys pushing them up. It's true, no one has a mistrust of daisies. The most compelling comparison I can draw though, is that daisies are so reviered yet they remain modest and sincere. Granted I never thought much of the beautiful daisy then, I will from now on. Our anniversary daisies have made the 800 odd mile journey to my parents' house now, and will soon begin "Kristine's daisy patch" in the garden. There they will stay, cared for and appreciated. I like to imagine my little Darlin' sitting amoungst them, picking petals off while perpetually repeating, "He loves me, he loves me. He loves me..."
I miss you so much, I love you. -Billy

Posted by: Billy Spaceman at July 9, 2005 06:03 PM

I knew Kris throughout high school, and she was an incredibly creative and nice person. I was shocked to hear of her passing. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.

Posted by: Kim (Kastning) Gabrelcik at July 10, 2005 08:45 AM

I knew Kris throughtout school, but not very well. I know Mattand was in Scouts wth him. y and y families cndolences are with each and every one of the family a all of her friends. Jim, and Mary we are thinking of you as well as each o yourother kids as well. My parents, Donn and Sue Nelson and Brother Brian also send their thouhs and prayers to your family and all of Kris's frieds.
WE are all thinking about you. Take Cre and God Bless

Posted by: Anonymous at July 10, 2005 05:59 PM

Dear Mary and family,
In my mind, I have composed note after to note to you over the past days since learning of your daughter's death. I know the sadness and grief you must be feeling, having lost my son 6 years ago in an auto accident. When I try to think of what to say, I know that there is nothing to take away the pain you must be feeling, yet I also know it matters to have other people reach out and acknowledge the loss. I know that we heal, and yet there is lasting pain and sadness. Still, over time we find the ways that work for us to honor the life of our child by going on with our own lives, and celebrating the fact that, brief and fleeting as their lives may have been, we had them for as long as we did. In the days, weeks, and months ahead, I hope you will find whatever solace and comfort you need, through the love and support of friends, family, and even those people who pass briefly through your lives. Please feel free to contact me if there is any support I can give you, Mary.
Marilyn (Matzke) Riley

Posted by: Marilyn Riley at July 11, 2005 08:06 AM

To Mary, Jim and your family:
Just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you at this difficult time. I wish I could tell you "why" things happen - we just need to have faith that there is a purpose - Keep Kris's memories close to your heart - she will be missed by a lot of friends and family. We will keep you all in our prayers.

Norma and Jody Horkey

Posted by: Norma &; Jody Horkey at July 11, 2005 10:42 AM

Note: A comment was removed from this site that dealt with speculation around the who was "at fault" in Kris' accident. While we promote an open forum for comments, thoughts, condolences and memories; please remember this is an extremely tough time for the Okins family and Kris' friends.

Appropriate comments are welcome and appreciated for those who might feel a little bit better sharing/reading on here.

In the future, a section regarding "biker awareness" and safety-related issues will be developed, but not until this sad time passes.

Posted by: at July 11, 2005 03:00 PM

could have been any one of us. any day.

be safe, we don't want to lose another any time soon.

Posted by: anonymous at July 11, 2005 03:14 PM

It's absolutely absurd and unbelievable that, regardless of legal fault, the driver intentionally caused this to happen.

My prayers are with Kristine's family and friends, and the driver as well. I can imagine the torment of knowing that another human being died by the crush of a vehicle under your control. We literally have nightmares about this.

As a bicycle messenger and truck driver, I can honestly say the fear of killing another is scarier than that of being killed.

Posted by: Roy Wilkie at July 13, 2005 03:35 AM

I guess I am an old aquaintence of Kris's and sadly to say, I lost touch with her a few years ago. Her and her sister wer "fans"/friends of my old band and she was always some one I had fun with, and admired for her photography. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures, they are still on my wall, as well as Andy Gruhns. you will be missed

Posted by: B.J. Wuollet at July 13, 2005 02:29 PM

I never knew of Christine - just came across her passing while searching the Veloshop site. It makes me cringe, and fired-up, whenever I hear of a cyclist exiting in such a way. She seems to have/ have had a lot of admirers given the amount of posts herein and their good words and condolences. Best wishes to her family. May she be riding somewhere beautiful right now.

Posted by: Todd Schneider at July 15, 2005 01:21 AM

i am so sorry that something like this happened to such a sweet sweet person.

Posted by: nicole g. at July 15, 2005 05:50 PM

I have been putting off writing this. I even started once, and erased it. Now I am just going to do it.
When I met her, I was speechless. I think that I didn't say much more than Hi to her for a couple of weeks. She was so fascinating to me I really couldn't communicate with her for quite a while.
I am so sad about this. Even now, I don't know what to type.
I would like to recall her, at her stop, in the heat, during the naaccc's.
I remember rolling up the little hill fast, stopping only after running into the table she stood at.
She smiled, stamped my manifest, and said "Dabby, you are so fast!"
She wouldn't even let me help pick up the mess.
I will never forget her.

Posted by: Dabby McCrashalot at July 19, 2005 06:02 PM

Kris was not only a good student, she was a kind soul and a firey, spirited personality who always inspired her colleagues in class (as well as her teacher). She was one of the few in Graphic Design One and Graphic Design Three whom I could count on to help spark lively debates during critiques, and she always provided meaningful criticism to her fellow students. She worked so hard, and her design was beautiful. I am profoundly, terribly sad she was taken away so early in her young and happy life--but I am glad that I had a chance to know her, if only for a brief while.

Posted by: Deb Littlejohn at July 20, 2005 10:59 AM

I met Kris when I worked for the snow mag some 4 years ago in san juan cap. She interned for a bit i think. I remember her using my computer to check email a few times. It's always sad to see someone pass away at such a young age. It reminds us of our own mortality and how life is really just a "one day at a time" game. Prayers to her sis Melissa and her family.

Posted by: James Sullivan at July 20, 2005 12:17 PM

I just got the news here in Indonesia and my heart stopped. From one Minnesota-born PDX woman messenger to another--my god lady, you will be missed.

Posted by: Dr. Maggie at July 27, 2005 11:23 PM

my heart is bowling ball-heavy, and i cannot find the words to express this loss. i attended the arts high school with kris and graduated with her in '98.

i didn't know her very well, but i knew that she had a beautiful heart and i will always remember her shining smile.

heartfelt blessings and many prayers to her family.

Posted by: heather johnson at July 30, 2005 04:37 PM

Well, I've decided that your nick name is definitely Stinky. I know you didn't like that one, but there it is. Sometimes you got on my nerves, but you never fucked me over. Or anyone else I know. And it made me exceedingly happy to get you and Billy together. Perfect dorks for each other. I'm sorry we will not see your future design works, hear you laugh, I'm sorry I will not drink anymore Jamison whiskey with you or eat anymore of that delicious breaded eggplant (not to mention the vegan rice crispy treats). started a .Thank you forever for all the sharing, the listening to my bitching, for taking over the Pussycat race when I was falling off. Say hi to Pokey. Love always,

Posted by: Kerry R. at August 4, 2005 05:18 PM

Former DC messenger who happened to find out about Kris and her passing. Never met her, but from reading this site, I can tell that the world lost an amazing person.

My condolences go out to Kris' family, as well as her many friends and the Portland messenger community.

the cheat
oakland, ca

Posted by: elliott at August 29, 2005 02:32 PM