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.