This website, Forgotten Ohio, wouldn't be what it is if it weren't for Kristin's generous time and attention, her energy and talent, her willingness to help even when helping meant travelling somewhere on her own and taking a hundred photographs, developing them, and mailing them to me. She particularly rose to the occasion with her work on Woodland Cemetery (the location she loved the most near her Dayton home), donating hard copies of half the photographs you see there. Her writing, contributions, and research can be found on dozens of other pages, and she never sought credit; she merely shared an enthusiasm with someone whom she quickly made her friend.
There is so much more to Kristin than I can ever put up on a simple page like this, but no one deserves a memorial on Forgotten Ohio more than she does. It's hard to really express how saddened I am by her sudden death. In many ways it still doesn't seem real. But as a preliminary step I decided to go ahead and post her identity publicly on my website, which is usually all about anonymity, and remove the secrecy from who she was and all she did for me and for the hobby we shared a love for.
There's nothing wrong with the habit people have of overlooking a person's flaws when they die, but for the second time in the recent past (the first being my wonderful friend Erik Rothlisberger), I find myself inadequately eulogizing someone with no real flaws it's necessary to ignore. Kristin was that rare human being with a beautiful heart, someone whose life was devoted to other people. This is a girl who sent me a care package when I was sad after a breakup; someone who wired me the money to get my car repaired when it broke down suddenly, leaving me in a terrible situation; and who then had me come to Dayton and took me out to dinner and shared everything she had with me--the way she always did. She was utterly selfless and unfailingly generous, eternally worried about other people and unfailingly focused on her family, friends, and loved ones of all sorts. You were lucky to know Kristin. She was beautiful in every way, eternally caring, and she will always be with me. The world is a worse place because she is gone.
The service in her memorial was held at Dayton's Precious Blood Church on January 24, 2009. She was cremated. It was difficult, seeing some of the mementos they had on display in celebration of Kristin's all-too-brief life.
Kristin leaves behind three children, a mother and stepfather who care deeply for her, and a wide array of friends and family. This memorial page will continue to grow over time as these people send me their personal recollections of her, to be posted in their own words, as well as additional photographs. So check back regularly for added material.