It is with heavy hearts and fond memories that the Williams Nordic Ski Team wishes to communicate the loss of one of its members, Katie Craig ’08. Katie took her life on April 4, 2007 while at her home in Cumberland, Maine, after a valiant battle with mental illness.
Katie was a vital part of the ski team, and we view her passing as a devastating loss. Katie had one of those personalities that you couldn’t help but love – she was always happy, always smiling, always spunky. Teammates and coaches viewed her as a bright light for the team and a big ball of energy, and she was truly both. Katie was always ready for whatever the workout was for the day, and her enthusiasm for training was so infectious that it was impossible not to be motivated and inspired to train hard. Off of the trails, Katie kept us laughing with her never-ending comments, stories, and jokes that brightened many a long van ride.
Besides being a great skier and a fantastic teammate, Katie was an extraordinary person. All who knew her appreciated her kind and funny personality, and many envied her beauty. On the ski team, she was named the perfect woman and most likely holds the record for most Valentines or Carnie Crushes received at the Dartmouth Carnival. Katie had a deep love for the environment, so much so that she created her own contract major in Environmental Science and Ecology at Williams. In addition, she was also an amazing artist, and she blended these two passions seamlessly, creating art about nature that was used to support environmental protection efforts. Yet despite of all of the amazing talents she possessed, Katie was an extremely modest person who never believed herself to be better than anybody else and saw the gifts and beauty in each person she knew.
On Sunday, April 8th, over 100 of Katie’s friends, peers and mentors gathered at Dodd House on the Williams campus for a memorial. A candlelight vigil was first held outside Dodd, followed inside by a beautiful photo slideshow and a sharing of memories of Katie from her friends, teammates and teachers. They gave many funny and thoughtful tributes to her energy, positivity, beauty, talents, modesty and spirit. It was truly a great experience to see the multitude of ways in which Katie had affected so many people, and being able to share memories and grief seemed to help many of those in attendance in coping with Katie’s passing.
Although under unfortunate circumstances, these events have resulted in truly wonderful amounts of bonding within our already family-like ski team. ’06 alums Amelia Bishop, Joel Bradley, Elissa Rehm, and Gillian Sowden all attended Sunday’s memorial, and it was fantastic to see them again. We have also been communicating with those ’06 alums who were not able to attend the memorial, including Elise Henson, Aaron Bloom, Dan Moccia-Field, and Mary Iaculli. Whether in person, over the phone, or via email, their thoughts, memories and tributes have been immensely helpful in sorting out our own thoughts and dealing with this sudden void in our team.
Katie Craig was a fundamental part of the Williams Nordic Ski Team, and we miss her dearly. A memorial service for her will be held this Friday, April 13th, at 3:00pm at the St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church (http://www.smary.org) in Falmouth, Maine. We and Katie’s friends and family would appreciate your support and hope that you will join us, either in person or online, in remembering and celebrating the wonderful skier, fantastic teammate, and above all, extraordinary woman that Katie Craig was.
Pictured: Top Left - Katie Craig '08 at Craftsbury, VT in 2006; Bottom Right - Sam Kapala '09 and Katie Craig '08 in 2006