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Smrekar’s Acres owner dies

Natascha Smrekar talks about closing Smrekar's Acres Tree Farm in December. The 46-year-old Guthrie woman died Jan. 24. (Pioneer file photo)

GUTHRIE -- Natascha Smrekar said it was time to spend more time with family when she closed the gate to Smrekar’s Acres Tree Farm in December. The 46-year-old Guthrie woman had been battling cancer and closed the business after a decade because she wanted to see more of her family.

She died less than two months later on Jan. 24.

Smrekar’s Acres Tree Farm was featured in the Pioneer on Dec. 7, originally because the 40-acre farm was closing after a decade of providing pine-scented memories to families in the Bemidji area. The star of the story turned out to be Natascha.

Natascha was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in October 2012. She survived surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments before receiving a cancer-free status in 2013. During an interview with the Pioneer, she was technically cancer-free, but Natascha knew there was a 95 percent chance of the cancer returning.

Natascha is survived by her husband, Jay, and two teenage children, Jesse and Tatiana. She had hoped to see her children walk across the stage at graduation, she told the Pioneer.

A celebration of Natascha’s life will be held at the Cease Family Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. A memorial mass will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be held privately in the spring.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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