Heidi Louise Kriz

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Heidi Louise Kriz
9/4/1965 - 5/6/2012

Heidi Kriz left her family and friends from around the world on Sunday, May 6. Her death was unexpected although she struggled with serious illness and heath problems following an auto accident in 2006. She was born in Denver, Colo., and died at home in El Dorado Hills Calif., at age 46. She leaves her mother Patricia Kriz of El Dorado Hills, her brother Kurt (Jacqui) Kriz of Sacramento Calif., her aunt Phyllis (Manny) Muniz of Lander Nyo., her aunt Marieta (Dale) Smith of Colorado Springs, Colo., her uncle Robert (Joanne) Kriz of Las Vegas, Nev., her cousin Pat (Don) Barz of Arvada, Colo., and many more dear cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her father William C. Kriz, her uncle Robert L. Maness, and grandparents Nan and Jack Kriz, and Dr. Robert and Adelaide Maness.
Heidi grew up in El Dorado Hills. She graduated from Sacramento Country Day School where she learned to write for the Octagon newspaper, from Barnard College where she earned a BA in English and studied one semester at Exeter College, Oxford University, England, and from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with an MS in 1991. She left immediately for Johannesburg, South Africa, to work as a freelance journalist. She wrote about apartheid and the hardships and conflicts of that struggle. Her school and press contacts became close friends, and she maintained those friendships through all her remaining years.
Heidi was born to be a journalist. She worked with great dedication and wrote with passion, telling stories about the lives and challenges of others. She traveled to exotic places and met fascinating people for the South African Airways magazine "Springbok", but she did far more serious character studies from interviews with major political figures in Africa from 1991 until her return to the United States in 1995. She was married for several years to Michael Persson, a photojournalist she met in South Africa, and they lived in San Francisco, Calif., where she worked for Wired magazine. She continued to travel to Africa, South America, Asia, and the United States, writing as a freelance journalist.
In 2003 Heidi received a Knight International Press Fellowship to work in Kampala, Uganda with the Monitor newspaper and lecture at Makarere University. Her leg was broken in a moped accident in Kampala, three months after her arrival. She was taken by air vac to Nairobi, Kenya, for surgery and returned to Kampala, but was unable to continue. After returning to California, she pursued freelance work and volunteered for nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas. She eagerly volunteered to teach writing at California State Prison, Sacramento, and found her students to be remarkable. Heidi loved to ski, sail, swim, bicycle, read, and cook dinner for friends. She always made time for her family and for her much loved cat Molly.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2 P.M. on Wed., June 13, at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, 1001 Olson Lane, El Dorado Hills, Ca 95762. Her ashes will be buried on June 16 at Monument Hill Cemetery, Thermopolis, Wyo., next to her dad whom she loved so much. Those wishing to make a donation to Heidi's memory may contact The Committee to Protect Journalists at www.cpj.org or CPJ Dev. Dept. 330 Seventh Ave, 11th floor, New York, NY 10001. A courtesy website is available for remembrances at www.greenvalleymortuary.com

Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers from May 18 to May 23, 2012
bullet Journalists