Kasee (Kate) Lynn Johnson Stai

Kasee (Kate) Lynn Johnson Stai, 46, of Winona, Minn., went home to heaven Jan. 10, 2023, surrounded by her family and friends after a 2-1/2-year battle with breast cancer. 

She is survived by her children, Katalina (Dray) Schreiber of Blaine, Minn., and Cole Stai (Allison Stewart) of Winona; a special friend, Nawroj Khan; her mother, Lynda Johnson; her siblings, Wyatt (June) Johnson, Kari and Joshua Johnson, all of Ontario; one niece, Allie Johnson of Cashton, Wis.; and many friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Marvin Johnson, and her grandparents, Leroy and Leona Paulsen and William and Lucile Johnson. 

She was born to Marvin and Lynda (Paulsen) Johnson on Sept. 5, 1976, in Vernon Memorial Hospital. Kate lived and grew up in Ontario. In 1995, she graduated from Brookwood High School, where she was involved in FFA, forensics, Spanish Club, volleyball, and basketball. She professed salvation on Aug. 19, 1993, and was baptized on Sept. 26 of that year. “For when we were yet without strength, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

She was married to Chris Stai on Nov. 24, 1995, and later divorced. From that union came Katalina and Cole. Kate went on to get her diploma from Southeast Technical College, which helped her land a job at Mayo upon graduating. She was proud of her employment at Mayo Clinic as a medical transcriptionist, which she held for 25 years. 

Throughout her life, Kate struggled with several major health issues.  Her first major health issue was being diagnosed with IgA nephropathy in 2012, which required a kidney transplant. Thankfully, on Kate’s birthday in 2014, she was blessed by her wonderful friend, Amy Frandsen, with her kidney. Despite this, she never hesitated to go on trips with her friends and family, including camping trips when on dialysis. Everyone who knew her knew her spirit and determination to make the most of any moment.

Kate enjoyed going to her children’s events, hanging out with her friends, and traveling. She also rescued and loved many pets, including Little Bear, Ali, Slater, Colby, Tank, Jynx, and Onyx. When Kate wasn’t making memories with people, you could find her tending her garden or scrapbooking while she sings to the radio. She would also attend classes and bring home a new canvas painting or home decoration. Every time you went to Kate’s, you felt the love she put into everything and everyone.

Services were Jan. 21 at Hoff Funeral Home in Goodview, Minn. There was a time for reminiscing and fellowship after the service with cake and cookies.

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