Katrina Jade Hanson-Herrem
April 13, 2022
Katrina Jade Hanson - Herrem, age 17, passed away on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. She was born to Heather Hanson and Scott Herrem on May 30, 2004. Katrina was a senior at DeForest High School and was a member of National Honor Society. One of her biggest passions in life was learning. She loved foreign languages (especially Spanish and also studied German). She loved school and her teachers. During the summer months, she continued her learning by taking courses at MATC East and through the HarvardX program. She looked forward to her trip to study abroad on her foreign language immersion trip with her Deforest High School classmates during the Summer of 2022. In the Fall of 2022, Katrina planned to attend the University of Minnesota, with a double-major in Microbiology and Spanish. She wanted to help others "like her", through research science to create new medicines (including alternative medicine) or possibly research cancer. Studying abroad in college was also definitely on her
"bucket list" to do.
Katrina was bright light in all the lives that she touched. She was vibrant and funny (even though she felt she wasn't) she made us laugh and smile so much. She was also known for her kindness and inclusivity at school and wanted everyone around her to feel accepted. She was always looking out for others.
Katrina had the most infectious laugh and contagious energy. She had the most amazing smile (that we lovingly called her "cheese face" when she was little) and had the most beautiful and memorable dimple on her right cheek. Everything was always more exciting and fun with her around. She made you appreciate the little things.
Katrina had an endless curiosity, searching for things and experiences that made her feel happy, loved, and safe. She loved her family, she loved her friends, and especially her sister Bekah (daughter of Katie Davis and Scott Herrem), who nicknamed her big sister Katrina "Titi". She also she adored her cousins Connor and Maddy, who she always referred to as being "like my brother and sister". Katrina loved "blowing up the valley" watching fireworks at "Grandma and Gram pa Gary's", yelling "fire in the hole" with the kids and everyone around the bonfire.
Katrina loved so many things ... music, singing in the shower, she absolutely loved to dance with her friends, she enjoyed learning new make-up looks from YouTube, her "self-care" time, eating spicy foods, playing the viola when she was little, she loved the ocean, road trips and blasting her favorite music in her car, paddleboarding, she talked very often about going back to her "absolute favorite hiking spot in Mount Horeb" where we used to live, and she loved animals ... we could go on and on ... Katrina was so proud to be "the mom" of her adorable hamsters, Zip and Stripe and loved her "pet therapy time" with sweet Daisy.
Katrina loved taking care of the environment and found numerous opportunities to make a difference in this world by donating to and shopping at Goodwill or purchasing from organizations that support philanthropic causes that she believed in, such as "4Ocean". She volunteered at various organizations, such as Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, The River Food Pantry, and participated in the Disaster Relief Clean-Up in Coon Valley, WI. She participated in Girls' Biz, Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs of SouthCentral Inc., which is a community program that empowers young girls learn about, create, and manage a business, and the CEO's of Tomorrow, Business of Giving (BOG) Lab, which focused on social-entrepreneurship and how to take her passions and hobbies and turn them into creative business ideas that help others. She was also a participant and long-time Junior Coach for Girls' on the Run of SouthCentral Wisconsin.
She brought so much joy to everyone around her and to our lives. Words will never begin to describe how much she will be missed by her mom, Heather Hanson (Dirk Dannhoff), and by her dad, Scott Herrem (Elizabeth Herrem), her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many, many other friends.
In honor of who she was and what she desired, things such as honesty, compassion, and understanding, we choose to be open about her struggles. We will honor her memory and her life by being open about what "it" is. She hated calling "it" an "illness". Katrina struggled with anxiety. She also struggled with depression. She worked so hard to help herself, use the skills she learned, and use what she learned to help others at school. She was a beautiful soul. In honor of her memory, a memorial fund will be set up to donate to an organization that helps teenagers who struggle with anxiety and depression.
She would want us to honor her by living beautiful lives ... To travel, to explore, to love freely and openly ... to never hesitate to sing in the shower and throw your hands up in the air and dance ... to think of her and enjoy all that life has to offer.