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Child, father die after kayak overturns on Hart Lake in Hubbard County

Natascha Maria Smrekar

Natascha Maria Smrekar

Natascha Smrekar, 46, of Guthrie, MN, journeyed into the spirit world on Friday, January 24, 2014 after bravely battling sarcoma, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Memorial Mass will be 10:30 am, Saturday, February 1, 2014, with an hour of visitation before the service, at the St. Philips Catholic Church in Bemidji, MN with Father Adam Hamness officiating. A Celebration of Life will be from 5-8:00pm, with a time of sharing at 7:00pm, and a Rosary at 7:30pm, Friday, January 31, 2014 at the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji. A private interment will be held in the spring.

Natascha was born September 9, 1967 in St. Cloud, MN. Her family moved to the Twin Cities, where she graduated from Southwest High School, the University of Minnesota, and St. Marys College. She worked in social services. She married Jay Smrekar in Plymouth, MN in 1995. They moved to Fort Collins then Greeley, Colorado, where she continued work in social services and they started a family. They moved to Guthrie, MN in 2003, where she worked in the Bemidji and Laporte schools in addition to running a Christmas Tree farm. Throughout her life, Natascha was a very spiritual person who strove to help anyone she could, especially those in need and children.

She enjoyed canoeing, especially in the Boundary Waters, as well as other outdoor activities of all

kinds. She was an avid reader, a runner, and an artist. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her children, who were her reason for fighting so bravely.

She is survived by her husband: Jay Smrekar and children: Tatiana and Jesse Smrekar, all of Guthrie, MN; parents: Patricia (Jim) Stein of Bradenton, FL, and David (Patty) Zabinski of Minneapolis, MN; sister: Katrina Zabinski of Minneapolis, MN; brother: Christopher Zabinski of Minneapolis, MN; her in-laws, Jim and Kathy Smrekar of Minneapolis, MN; as well as two nieces and a nephew, with whom she was very close.

Natascha touched the lives of many people and will be sadly missed.

In lieu of flowers, Natascha has requested donations to a charity of the donors choice. Messages of

condolences may be left at