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Krista Marie (Skola) Salas was welcomed into heaven on April 22, 2022 after a brave five-year battle with cancer. She died on Earth Day surrounded by her family, her dogs at her side. She was 59.
Born on March 11, 1963 to Frank Skola and Patricia (Skola) Metter, Krista had an adventurous spirit and was known for her generosity and tenaciousness. She graduated from Wausau East High School before attending Lawrence University in Appleton, where she developed a love of science and a strong appreciation for the Earth. At Lawrence, she was part of the writing, fencing and international clubs and completed extensive course studies in English Literature before graduating in 1985 with a B.A. in Geological Studies. One of the greatest experiences in her life was a trip to the Yukon Territory as part of a Geology Field Camp expedition, where she made lifelong friends and deepened her appreciation for the natural world.
In 1989 Krista packed up her things and moved solo across the country to California’s Bay Area, where she embarked on a long and prosperous career in sales, working for companies such as Ashtech, Magellan and TomTom Inc. In January 2009, she realized a lifelong dream and founded Earth Insight, Inc., a nonprofit organization that funds and supports earth science research with a specific focus on climate change. Her passion for saving the Earth was matched only by her love of animals and strong desire to make the world a better place. Krista was a proud hospice volunteer, providing pet therapy for patients with her beloved dogs, Luke and Rue, and supported a wide range of charitable organizations throughout her life. She was a talented violinist, an avid reader with a strong appreciation for poetry, a voracious lover of strong coffee and good wine, a fabulous cook and a strong proponent of living life to its fullest. She loved to travel, enjoyed a wide range of music, was an avid runner and a voracious Golden State Warriors fan, and she sure knew how to throw a party. She understood the value of true friendships and family ties and was a fierce advocate for the people she loved. In 2013, Krista moved back to Wausau to own and operate The Rosenberry Inn before her cancer diagnosis.
In 1992, Krista married John Salas at a mountaintop vineyard near San Jose, California. Though the couple separated in 2013, they remained close friends and confidantes. The entire family is grateful to John for his unwavering support of Krista, especially in her final days.
Krista was preceded in death by her beloved father, Frank, as well as her stepfather, William Metter. In addition to her husband Krista is survived by her mother, Patricia; her aunt, Ann Adams; her brother David Skola (Lori Napstad); her sisters, Wendy Skola (David Ermeling) and Shereen (Darren) Siewert; her beloved nephews and nieces: Rowan Flynn, Devon Flynn (Linda Nguyen), Aidyn Dorzak and Megan Hibbard (Dan Castro); her dogs, Pretzel and Cassie; along with countless additional relatives, friends and coworkers.
A celebration of Krista’s life will be held Sunday, May 1 at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams St., Wausau. Visitation is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with a brief memorial service at 3. Friends and family members are invited to join us from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Palms Supper Club, 5912 Bus. Hwy. 51 in Weston to raise a glass, share stories and memories, and celebrate Krista’s life.
Please wear a green item of clothing to the memorial, if you choose, as it was Krista’s favorite color and signifies her love of nature and the Earth.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your favorite nonprofit organization in Krista’s memory. The family would like to extend its sincere thanks and appreciation to the nurses, CNAs, social workers and volunteers of Aspirus Hospice, and to Dr. Niaz Haque and Dr. Andrew Huang, the Aspirus oncologists who worked tirelessly to heal her. We are forever grateful for your care and support.
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