Karina Vesta Barak

Karina Vesta Barak

12/13/1995 – 9/7/2021

Survived by mother, Regina (Erickson) Riva (Mike); father, Jeff Barak (Deborah); grandfather, Roger Erickson; stepbrother, Scott Riva (Jessica) and their daughter, Pepper; stepsister, Sarah McNeil (Andy) and their children, Eli and Penelope; aunt, Raneta Laitner (Joseph); cousin, Roger Eric Laitner; many other loving family members and friends.

VIGIL SERVICE: Friday, September 17th, 7pm at West Center Chapel with family receiving friends from 5-7pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, September 18th, 11AM at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 4810 Woolworth Avenue.  Private Interment.  Memorials are suggested to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

To view live broadcasts of Vigil Service and Mass, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.


Karina was a wonderful, beautiful, compassionate daughter.  Her mother, Gina, could have never been more blessed with a more gifted and beautiful daughter.  Karina’s relationship with her mother was as close as any mother and daughter relationship could have been.  At times they even felt like they were sisters and best friends, and she was absolutely everything in the world to her mother.  Growing up Karina was also a loving daughter to her father, Jeff, and her stepfather, Mike.

Karina was a special granddaughter to her Grandfather Roger that she loved and adored; and enjoyed spending as much time with him as possible when she was in Omaha.  She helped him in any way she could when she was home.  Karina was a loving niece to her aunts, uncles, and her many cousins.  She was also a special “Peanut” to her loving Aunt Raneta and Uncle Joe.

Karina’s real love was the mountains and ski slopes in Colorado, especially in Breckenridge where she lived while going to college at Colorado Mountain College.  She loved snowboarding, hiking in the mountains, camping, riding her dirt bike and even climbing the 14 thousand feet peaks in the Rockies.   Karina loved and took the best of care of her golden retriever, Kaya Marie, who was by her side all day and night.  She took Kaya everywhere she went no matter where she went.  Karina loved the outdoors, nature and had a great love for all animals.

Karina talked to everyone including strangers, even the mailman whom she even got to know as Doug growing up.  She would always bring a smile to their faces, and they always wanted to keep talking with her even as a little girl.  At the young age of 3, Karina would be riding in the grocery cart at the store and say “HI” to everyone that passed.  Everyone would stop to talk with her and have a conversation.  

Karina was very athletic and active as a child.  While growing up and in high school, she participated in all sports including: dance, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swim and dive team, and even competitive figure skating and skiing in the mountains when she was just a little girl.

Karina attended Holy Cross Grade School, Marian High School, and graduated from Central High School.  Karina attended college at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge, Colorado and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sustainability Studies.

Karina was a strong and confident young girl and had a determination like no other.  When her mind was made up on something there wasn’t much you could do to change her decision. She was a born leader and was always wanting to help all her friends. Karina had a strong compassion for all people.

Karina loved and cherished her friends and her friends loved and cherished her.  She always wanted to be with them and be there for them when they needed help in any way she could.  Karina was always helping her close friends by listening when they had struggles in life and doing whatever she could to make them happy.  Her friends were a huge part of her life and always there to help her when she needed it also.

Karina had many friends in Omaha, Nebraska, and it seemed like she knew someone every place she would go.  In her time of returning to Omaha from Colorado, some of her very closest friends were Garrett, Megan, and Cienna.  She also made many very close friends while living in Breckenridge, Colorado.  To mention just a few are Gabby, Katie G., Ray, Hannah, and Josh.    

Karina also loved to travel.  She was always planning and thinking about the next place that she wanted to visit in the world.  Some of the places she had traveled to included Norway, Thailand, Jamaica, and several trips within the United States.  Katrina also made many trips to Cape Cod and New England.

Karina was an angel from heaven who came into our lives to share her love, joy, spirit, and compassion to help all of us grow in love.  She was an absolutely beautiful, smart, confident woman with a smile that would light up any room that she came into, and her presence was as bright as a shining star.  People just loved being around her and sharing their lives with her.  She will be dearly missed by her loving family, relatives, and all her dear friends.  






  • Pam Gleeson Posted September 16, 2021 8:48 am

    Our sweet Karina was loved by all. May God bless and keep her in His loving care.

  • David & Charlotte Ratkovec Posted September 16, 2021 9:29 am

    Our hearts break for you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you & your family.. Not enough time for this child.
    Keep the good memories alive in your hearts ❤️‍🩹❤️‍🩹🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
    Char & Dave

  • Greg & Patty Rowan Posted September 16, 2021 10:16 am

    Our prayers and condolences are with Jeff and family! So sorry for your loss.

  • Corki & Cory Alexander Posted September 16, 2021 4:18 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of great loss. Jeffrey you are in our prayers and we love you very much . May GOD hold Karina close in Heaven.

  • Robert Moniri Posted September 16, 2021 6:00 pm

    May loving memories of Karina soften your grief, and may you find comfort and peace in the joy and the love she brought. May she Rest In Peace.

  • Billy & Dee Hite Posted September 16, 2021 8:42 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of her family

  • Deepak & kokila Bhatia Posted September 17, 2021 3:06 am

    May Good Lord give strength to family to cope with such difficult time. Our prayers are with you.

  • Marlow Newland Posted September 17, 2021 8:23 am

    So sorry to hear about Karina. Your family is in my thoughts.

  • Gary Cavanaugh & Lisa Stasi Posted September 17, 2021 11:14 am

    Gina, Mike and other family and friends. While I never met Karina, I often heard about her from Mike and Gina. She was so full of life and brought so much love and happiness to all that knew her. No ones lives will be the same without her…..you can only learn to live what will become your new reality. I pray for Godspeed and help while you grieve this most difficult loss. I’m so sorry that her wonderful life was cut short. Prayers to you all!

  • Rich and Jane Haug Posted September 17, 2021 11:19 am

    Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your daughter/step daughter. We will keep you all in our prayers.

  • Michelle & Sarina Briggs Posted September 17, 2021 11:56 am

    Words can’t describe how sorry we are for your loss! We are sending prayers and hugs during this unbearable time! We love you and you all are in our thoughts and prayers!

  • Adam Justice Posted September 17, 2021 1:09 pm

    Sorry for your loss! My thoughts and prayer for the family!

  • Angela Cunningham Posted September 18, 2021 3:03 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I remember having her in my science class for 6,7, and 8th grade at Holy Cross. She always had a wonderful attitude. I always enjoyed having her in my class. Sending prayers to her family and friends.

  • Joe and Linda Mathew Posted September 19, 2021 6:04 pm

    Gina and Mike,
    We are extremely saddened to hear about your tragic untimely loss. Karina was full of life and such a lovely person that god took so soon. Linda and I want to offer our condolences and will pray for her soul to Rest In Peace.

  • Donna Dutch Posted September 20, 2021 7:24 am

    I am so very sad to hear of Karina’s death. Way too young. I vividly remember the first time I saw her. She was rolling around on the floor not talking yet. I pray God gives you the strength to deal with your loss.
    Donna Dutch (neighbor)
    16021 Kings Mountain Road
    Woodbridge VA 22191

  • Sue Vanecek Posted October 7, 2021 11:52 am

    Gina, I wanted to let you know how very sorry I am to hear about Karina. I just couldn’t imagine the pain you must be feeling. I think of you and remember our times laughing at the Brandeis bldg. I am sorry we have not run into each other over the years. Please know that I am praying for your strength and faith. I am deeply, deeply sorry for your loss.

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