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Kristi Tollefson Sackett

Kristi was born March 29, 1955, in Minot, and died Aug. 30, 2012, at UCSF Medical Center, Parnassus in San Francisco, after close to 20 years of living with thyroid cancer. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Bethel Lutheran Church on Finch Avenue in Cupertino, Calif., (408-252-8500). Her ashes will be interred at Alta Mesa Memorial Park at 695 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, Calif., 94306 (650-493-1041).

Kristi grew up on her parents’ farm in New Rockford, with her five younger siblings. She attended college at North Dakota State University in Fargo and graduated with a B.A. and teaching credential in performance arts, emphasizing voice and piano. Her classmates will no doubt remember her academic gifts, recalling her Valedictorian Address at her high school graduation and her Commencement Address at North Dakota State University. After graduating from NDSU, Kristi’s first jobs were teaching choir and music in Klamath Falls, Ore., and Waseca, Minn., middle schools. Next, she spent a year backpacking through Europe and Israel with a high school friend. Wanting to live close to the ocean, in 1980 Kristi moved to Mission Bay in California and worked as an administrator at U.C. San Diego. She became involved with La Jolla Lutheran Church and its choir, and met Brian Sackett, whom she married in 1987.

After marrying, Kristi and Brian moved to Saratoga, Calif., where they raised their children, Kate, 23, and Logan, 21. Kristi went back to school at San Jose State in order to work with people as a marriage and family therapist. She received a master’s degree in psychology in 1991 and had a private practice from 1993 to 2012, specializing in counseling adolescents and their families. In the past two and a half years, she also worked half time providing therapy for students with emotional disturbances at Briarwood Elementary School and Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara.

Kris was loved, respected and deeply appreciated by all who knew her. Her proudest achievements were raising her children to be the kind, compassionate and involved adults they are today. She also demonstrated great strength, courage and positive attitude in dealing with her illness since 1993.

In addition to her husband, Brian, daughter, Kate, and son, Logan, Kristi is survived by her father, Edward Tollefson, New Rockford; her siblings, Jeff Tollefson and family, Menifee, Calif., Kaia Tollefson and family, Camarillo, Calif., Kari Fischer and family, Fargo, and Kami Yri and family, Bismarck; and brother-in-law, Albrecht Roemer and family, Bad Vilbel, Germany.

She was preceded in death by her dearly missed sister, Karen, Bad Vilbel, Germany; and beloved mother, Joyce, New Rockford.

Kristi is survived, as well, through the light she leaves behind in the hearts of all who knew her. As brightly as the light that went on in the universe at her passing on Aug. 30, 2012, her love shines still, in us.

Kristi would request that memorial donations be made to your local schools, church or favorite charities.

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