Monday, this world lost a treasured soul. We lost an optimistic, caring, hardworking and tenacious woman.

Katie French began working with The Sheridan Press in December 2016. She joined our team as a marketing specialist and hit the ground running with enthusiasm and heart. She believed fully in what she was doing and what we are doing at The Press.

She immediately brought new ideas to the table. Beyond that, she brought energy; she brought friendship; she brought a willingness to shake things up. She brought the capacity to make every individual feel vital.

Katie quickly made friends in the organization. She always had kind words to share and words of encouragement for her colleagues. She nearly single-handedly strengthened the culture of our business in the early months of her tenure at the newspaper.

She made that big of a difference, then just a couple of months into her time at The Press received a diagnosis in early 2017 that shook us all. How could such a strong, bold woman face such a challenge? Well, she faced it the same way she faced everything — with hope, positivity and determination.

She worked through it all with a smile on her face. If you asked how she was feeling, she patiently answered despite how difficult it must have been to repeat over and over again. The well-meaning question often served as a reminder of her challenges, but Katie never flinched. She smiled and explained. She smiled and never let anyone know the worry, fear or pain she had to be feeling. Katie constantly sought to make everyone around her feel at ease. She sought to ensure everyone around her was OK.

When she couldn’t continue business as usual, Katie switched to part time but continued to contribute to our team in ways that cannot be measured but outlast any tangible objects or gains.

Then, she knew she couldn’t work anymore. We knew it too. 

Her affect on our team has never diminished. Her spirit and perseverance will live on in our newsroom, on our production floor and within our front office. We spoke of her often and will continue to do so. She was an example to us all.

No matter the challenge, we all hope that we can face what comes our way with as much grace as Katie faced her own mountains.

Words will never capture the meaning Katie had to our team at The Press, and to the many lives she touched.

We love you Katie. You’ll be missed, but never forgotten.