Kari Hastings WOODSTOCK - Kari Hastings, a brave, kind generous mother, grandmother and friend and a lifelong summer resident of Woodstock, died on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 23, 2014 after a long and challenging battle with MDS, a rare blood disease. She was 74. Kari was born on Oct. 10, 1939 in Brooklyn, N.Y., just two weeks after her parents arrived by ship from Norway for their second move to the United States. She attended the prestigious Hunter College High School in N.Y. and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in biology from Bates College at age 20. She also earned a Master’s Degree in public health administration and epidemiology from Quinnipiac University, studying evenings while working full-time and raising a young daughter. Kari’s parents, Olga and Peter Singsaas, began visiting Woodstock in 1927, just after emigrating from Norway the first time. They were captivated by the mountains and colors of Woodstock and soon purchased a small cabin at the top of Ohayo Mountain. The top of Ohayo Mountain soon became a community of Norwegian families who would move to Woodstock for the summer every year. Kari’s family lived in Brooklyn but Kari spent every summer of her childhood in Woodstock. Her family would move to Woodstock on Memorial Day weekend and she and her sister would attend school at a one-room schoolhouse in Bearsville for the last month of school. The families would return to New York at Labor Day. Kari’s parents retired to Woodstock in the mid-1970’s, moving to a larger house they purchased on the land adjacent to the cabin Kari grew up in. In 1998, Kari built a home on the property where her childhood cabin once stood and moved to that home full-time in 2004 when she retired. One of Kari’s first jobs was at the University of Olso in Norway, where she lived for 18 months after finishing college. For 30 years Kari worked in research and public health administration for the Veteran’s Administration Hospitals in New Haven, Conn., Boston and in Washington, DC, where she ran the research administration program for the national VA system. Her work involved writing grant proposals to help doctors and medical researchers apply for funding and research grants from organizations like the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She retired from the VA in the mid-1990’s and began a second career in research and public health administration at The Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a recognized leader in rehabilitative medicine, which is an official teaching partner of Harvard Medical School and a member of Partners HealthCare, founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. When Kari retired to Woodstock in 2004, she was an active volunteer for the Ulster County Office for the Aging, helping Medicare-eligible individuals navigate the complicated Medicare system. She later took a part-time job with the organization because her public health expertise was so valuable to the community. She also was a vocal opponent of the war and frequently demonstrated with the Women in Black on the Woodstock Green. Despite a challenging and debilitating illness, Kari remained optimistic and energetic at all times. She never complained despite severe pain and overwhelming weakness. Her determination and resolve were admirable, her love for her family and friends deep and unwavering.
Kari is survived by her daughter Kirsti Hastings McCabe and two grandchildren, Maja and Lucas McCabe, of Brooklyn, N.Y., as well as many cousins and friends.
We will hold a memorial service to celebrate Kari's spirit and unwavering energy on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 at 1 p.m. at Christ's Lutheran Church, 26 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, N.Y. 12498.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations on behalf of Kari Hastings to any of the following organizations: the Woodstock Dog Park as Kari's dog Bella was her loyal companion and best friend, or the Hudson Valley Hospice, which helped care for Kari with love throughout this past year, or the Woodstock Land Conservancy, which is dedicated to protecting and preserving the land and historical areas of Woodstock that Kari loved. Please note that you are recognizing Kari in your note.
Woodstock Dog Park, Woodstock Town Clerk, 25 Comeau Drive, Woodstock, N.Y. 12498
Hudson Valley Hospice, 374 Violet Avenue, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601
Woodstock Land Conservancy, PO Box 864, Woodstock, N.Y. 12498
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Daily Freeman from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, 2014.