Katrine Savoie's sudden passing Saturday at the age of 38 has shocked and saddened several area communities.

The New York Mills graduate lived in Park Rapids, taught art at Sebeka and was married to Wadena-Deer Creek fourth grade teacher and head hockey coach Dan Savoie.

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Katrine's uncle, John Keranen, is a third-grade teacher at Wadena-Deer Creek elementary. She was a close friend of WDC first-grade teacher Heidi Van Dyke.

Arrangements are being handled by the Wevley Funeral Home of Sebeka. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. The funeral will be held at 4 p.m. today (Thursday) at Sebeka High School.

Savoie's personality, like that of her husband, Dan, was "bubbly and out-going" according to WDC elementary principal Louie Rutten.

"She was always very friendly and very ready to help out with things," Rutten said. "She was very knowledgeable and very interested in the area arts programs."

Savoie was "a quiet leader" in the words of Sebeka principal and superintendent David Fjeldheim. In addition to teaching art in grades K-12, Savoie was heavily involved in extracurricular activities, committees and was president of Education Minnesota Sebeka, the local teacher's union, where her professionalism was much appreciated and respected.

Fjeldheim said Savoie used a "common sense" approach to problem-solving and thoroughly enjoyed the arts and working with youth. Her leadership qualities were exceptional and she "always put children first" when it came to school concerns and politics.

"When you work in a small school district of 500 students and 42 teachers we are not only losing a colleague, we are losing an extended member of our families," Fjeldheim said. "I know next year there will be many times when someone will ask 'who did that last year?' The answer will be Katrine Savoie."