Summit County reels after three deaths this week
Ryan Summerlin January 16, 2013
At The Boatyard Grill in Frisco, there is a seat at the bar where the chair is tilted forward against the counter. A vase of white flowers has been placed in front of the stool.
Longtime local Karen Crawford’s friends were holding her regular seat at one of her favorite restaurants in her memory Tuesday.
Crawford died unexpectedly Monday night at age 40.
For the community in Frisco, it was the second loss of the week. Many locals learned of Crawford’s death as they were gathering to remember James Lindenblatt, also a Frisco resident, who died in an avalanche the day before.
“It’s been tough,” said Jimmy Jacox, a bartender at the Moose Jaw in Frisco.
The third blow came on Wednesday, when Russell Kent “Siggy” Sigler’s body was discovered in his house at Farmer’s Korner after a significant structure fire.
All three had reportedly lived in Summit County for more than a decade.
“I don’t know if anybody’s even really started dealing with it,” Boatyard manager Elizabeth Skrzypczak said. “It’s been freezing cold too, so I think everyone’s numb.”
All week, members of the community have come together to help one another deal with the loss of so many friends and neighbors.
Locals have been gathering at local bars and some reportedly went out skiing together Wednesday, the first warm day after almost a week of sub-zero temperatures, to honor those who died.
Some local businesses, including the Moose Jaw, have closed their doors early this week as locals and employees cope with the loss.
“Maybe we don’t always get along or see eye-to-eye, but faced with an emotional time period, our town is amazing because we all really come together for each other,” said Frisco resident Kurt Kizer, who knew all three of the individuals who died. “It’s a really good time to remember and be thankful and grateful to everyone around. It’s really good we live in Frisco, because three people die in a lot of places and it might take a while to piece together that you know them. But in a small community, it doesn’t take long to connect the dots back to somebody you know.
Crawford, who friends remember as outgoing and friendly, worked for a local cosmetics company and was an avid New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox fan and a fixture at both The Boatyard and the Moose Jaw.
“She went out of her way to know other people,” Skrzypczak said. “She kind of spoiled you with her attention.”
Friends reportedly found Crawford’s body in her home in Frisco after missing her on social media all day Monday. The coroner has indicated she died of natural causes.
Lindenblatt, 37, was an asset manager for Summit County government. Friends say he was an extreme athlete who loved backcountry skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.
“Both of them were local icons in their own way,” Skrzypczak said.
Sigler, 65, had worked for Summit County Ambulance Service for 16 years. He was well-known and liked in the community.