September 10, 2012

Friends, Family Remember Life of Krista Depew ’15

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Friends and family of Krista DePew ’15 shared memories of the rising sophomore’s electric personality, fierce drive and passion for agriculture at a packed memorial service at Sage Chapel Monday evening.DePew died on May 26 of acute meningococcal meningitis. She complained of not feeling well in the last few days of her freshman year and died shortly after returning home.Krista’s mother, Marsha DePew, described her daughter as “a gritty farm girl one minute and a gorgeous girly-girl the next.” At the service, Marsha DePew spoke of Krista as a wonderful and fun-loving daughter.“She liked to party since she was little. She definitely made our life pretty exciting over the years,” Marsha DePew said.DePew, who grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Argyle, N.Y., was valedictorian of her high school class and an all-star softball pitcher.Susan H. Murphy ’73 Ph.D. ’94, vice president of student and academic services, said she remembered reading and being impressed with Depew’s college essay — “Out of the Suburbs and Onto the Farms” — in which Depew wrote that she had “‘found her voice as an advocate for farmers and their families.’”“She was a perfect match for [Cornell] and [Cornell] for her,” Murphy said. “It is clear how fortunate we were to have her in our family for a year.”Depew’s friends also recalled her pride in her upbringing and her love for farming. “At the age of 18, Krista knew exactly who she was and was proud of it. She was a proud farmer’s daughter,” said Conor Goetz ’15, a close friend and hallmate of Depew. Many of Depew’s friends also spoke of her self-assuredness and her ability to make instant connections with people. “There were few things that made you feel more hilarious and accomplished than Krista’s laugh,” said Marina Gaeta ’14, Depew’s “big sister” in the Alpha Phi sorority.Depew’s joy and vigor for life were often contagious, friends said.  “Krista provided me with an example of what real energy and love can do in life,” said Gavin Taves ’15, a friend of Krista’s from freshman year. President of Alpha Phi Ali Hoffman ’13 spoke emotionally about the death of Depew. “Krista was and always will be our sister, not by blood or marriage, but in every other sense of the word,” Hoffman said. “There is a promise we make to our sister: We will remember you.” Depew’s hallmate and close friend from freshman year, Elizabeth Harrington ’15, urged everyone in attendance Monday to celebrate life in honor of Depew. “She wouldn’t want us sitting around mourning her passing. In honor of Krista, go out and do something fun. Celebrate,” Harrington said. The service included music by Annette Richards, University organist, a slideshow of photographs of Krista and a video clip of the song “The Circle of Life” from Disney’s “The Lion King,” in memory of Krista’s love for Disney movies.

Original Author: Danielle Sochaczevski