Losing one of our own
With broken hearts and heavy spirits, the News staff stood in a Billings cemetery last Saturday afternoon to help lay to rest our sweet co-worker, Carrie Boe.
Those are tough words to write.
Carrie tragically passed away two weeks ago, following a brief, but fierce, battle with a rare cancer. She left this earth just 14 days after working her last shift.
Making it even harder to take is the fact that approximately five years ago, Carrie had already faced her own mortality. That time, a liver transplant literally saved her life.
To beat death once, only to have it come knocking again so soon is not fair. But we all know that life is not fair.
For the last three years, Carrie was the first voice callers heard and the first face visitors saw at the News office, as she worked the front desk. An endearing mix of sweet and sassy, Carrie had a tremendous heart for people who were going through difficult times. That remained true, even as she fought a rare melanoma cancer during the past six months.
Carrie was genuine. Fun. Thoughtful. Smart. And lived by the rule that there is never a reason to be rude and always a reason to be kind. And she practiced what she preached.
A few years back, there was a difficult individual we dealt with on a regular basis. And I do mean difficult. As Thanksgiving approached, Carrie learned this individual had nowhere to go for the holiday. Carrie truly did not have room for an additional guest. At that time, she and her husband, Tim, were living in a small home while they built their dream home. And the house was already going to be full with their son Kyle, daughter Kendal and future son-in-law Sam coming.
Carrie invited the individual into her cramped home anyway. Her kindness was more than what I was willing to extend.
And that’s what Carrie was all about. Making people feel welcomed, wanted and that they mattered.
Wanting to show her how much she mattered to us, on her birthday last spring, we blindfolded her and drove down to the Columbus Fire Hall, where we had arranged for her to get into a truck and play. (She had once mentioned that as a child, this was something she had never gotten to do).
Her smile told us it was a hit. She even let us take her picture in the truck, which was a small miracle. Now, that picture is even more precious to us.
The News was lucky to have Carrie on our team for three years. We were even luckier to call her friend.