In Remembrance of Katie Herzog

Kathleen “Katie” A. Herzog, 69, of Carrabelle, died on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

While difficult to comprehend her sudden and unexpected death, it meant that she spent her last days doing the things that made her an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, including preparing to fly cross-country to help care for her 5-month-old and 3-year-old grandsons. 

Katie was born in Ames, Iowa to Jerald and Elaine (Mills) Hinke and was the second oldest of nine children. She grew up in Racine, Wisconsin and met her husband, Thomas “Tom” Herzog, at Case High School, where they ultimately both worked for over 25 years. As a high school guidance counselor, Katie’s care and compassion helped countless students. These characteristics also made her the most adored mother to her only child, Amanda (Jeff), and grandmother to Colin and Ethan, all of whom will miss her dearly.

After moving to Carrabelle, Katie continued the activities that she loved, including running, gardening, supporting the arts, and traveling. She was always the epitome of health and strength, even hiking Mount Kilimanjaro with Tom one year ago.

Katie was preceded in death by her parents. She will be lovingly remembered for her poise, thoughtfulness, humor, and the overwhelming joy that she imparted to others.

February 23, 2020–A celebration of Kate Herzog’s life was held at C-Quarters Marina yesterday. It was standing room only with family, friends, neighbors and community members all turning out to honor a woman so loved and admired. In lieu of flowers, Katie’s family suggested memorial donations be made to Apalachicola Riverkeeper, where Katie actively volunteered in various capacities since 2005.

During the memorial gathering, Tom Herzog presented Apalachicola Riverkeeper with a generous check in memoriam to Katie during a Celebration of Life. Accepting the gift on behalf of Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Georgia Ackerman shared the following remembrance of Katie Herzog.

Today we are celebrating the life of an extraordinary woman. Katie Herzog.

Tom, Amanda and family, we all continue to hold you in our hearts. We also want to make you proud of each of us, by striving to be the kind of person Katie exemplified.

Maya Angelou wrote, “Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.’ “

Kate Herzog did just that.

She can be described in multiple action words. A dynamo. A do-er. Joyous, humorous. Generous. Her enthusiasm–infectious. I met her for the first time on a kayak camping trip in 2011. Could I keep up with sprightly Katie Herzog? Certainly not. On the go! A runner, paddler, hiker–the list goes on.

I’d also add, Katie had the snappiest shoe collection of any outdoorsy gal I know.

Both Katie and Tom have been incredibly active with Apalachicola Riverkeeper since 2005, sharing endless, sincere time and energy to our lean, mighty non-profit. They care. Katie worked on the blueway map project and the national scenic trail initiative along with office bookkeeping and much more.

And, if you’ve ever been to any Riverkeeper fundraising event, odds are you were greeted by Katie’s bright, beaming smile while she asked what drink you were having. Tom and Katie dutifully bartended, bringing good cheer with a dash of hilarity to the volunteer role.

Thank you to Tom and Katie for reminding us to laugh and love each other. Thank you for putting your care into action in protecting our region’s precious, natural resources–especially our Apalachicola River and Bay.

As we know, Tom and Katie Herzog have been adventure buddies and best friends since high school in Wisconsin. They are parents and grandparents with volumes of stories of good times together. A genuine partnership built on love and friendship. They are loved by many, including the Apalachicola Riverkeeper family. May we all honor Katie’s legacy of putting care into action by our continued work to protect this magnificent slice of Earth, the Apalachicola River watershed.

 

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