Krista Sandness

Oct. 21, 1971 — Feb. 2, 2019

From Spokane, WA

Celebration of Life

  •   Starts:
    Sat, February 16 2019, 1 p.m.
  •   Location:
    Einan's at Sunset
    915 Bypass Highway

    Richland, WA US 99352

KRISTA LEIGH SANDNESS
October 21, 1971 - February 2, 2019

Krista was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1971 and moved with her family to Richland, Washington in 1973.  As a child and as an adult, she was a loving, kind, creative, and compassionate person with a zany sense of humor.  She had many talents, many interests, and a zest for life.  Her great loves were theater, writing, travel, animals, and the outdoors.  Even in elementary school, she excelled in many areas.  At age 11, she danced the role of Clara in the Nutcracker Ballet.  As a student she won many awards for her writing.  She also loved hiking, backpacking, and skiing in the mountains with her family.

In high school, she was on the gymnastics and softball teams and performed in many school and community theater productions.  She was named “most talented” and “wittiest” by her classmates at Hanford High.

After high school, Krista moved on to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, graduating with a degree in Theater Arts.  She then enrolled in a three-year graduate program at DePaul University in Chicago, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree. 

After a brief marriage, which ended in divorce, she decided to join the Army Reserves and received training as a journalist and photographer at the Department of Defense Information School, where she received a Public Affairs Diploma.

In addition to her work as a photojournalist for the Army, her many jobs along her life’s journey included teaching college theater classes, organizing Shakespeare Festivals for children, working for two travel companies, waitressing, and general office work.  Most recently, she earned a Veterinary Assistant Certificate to pursue her love of animals.  She then enjoyed working for veterinary clinics in the Spokane area, loving her work with animals and their owners.

Krista was a bold spirit who loved adventure and travel.  As a young girl, she went to Europe with her family, where she visited 11 countries and caught the travel bug.  Several years later, she went with her father to Jordan, where she participated in geophysical studies at archeological sites.  Work related travel included trips to Europe and Japan.

Twice in the years 2000 and 2001, she backpacked with her mother across northern Spain on the medieval pilgrimage route called The Camino de Santiago.  In the spring of 2008, she went to Japan for her brother’s wedding and was the photographer at the wedding reception. 

Recent adventures included skydiving, a week spent in London, and a trip to visit wonderful friends on the Gulf Coast. 

She is survived by her parents, Barbara and Gerald Sandness, her brother and sister-in-law Scott and Rieko Sandness, and her adored nephew and niece, Erik and Elsa.  Her family and many friends will miss her deeply.  She gave us all much joy.


Guestbook for

Krista Sandness


  • My deepest condolences to Barb, Jerry, Scott and family for your loss. When Barb and I were young mothers, we bonded through the parent education organizations in which we were active. Together we experienced the joys and challenges of parenting. Krista and my daughter Nicole were born in the same month of the same year. Among other things, I remember our agonizing over whether to put our five-year olds in kindergarten because they were on the cusp of entering school. Yes, even then, precocious Krista, you thrived as one of the youngest in your class.

    Cathy Clary
    Feb. 19, 2019
    Pasco, WA
  • (Continued) I marveled at Krista's artistic talents through the years. I also marveled at Barb's tenacious support of all Krista was interested in. For me and many others, Barb was a role model for how to nurture our beloveds. God bless you, Barb, Jerry and Scott, in your grief. And God bless your Soul, dear Krista. Know that we were blessed here on Earth with your extraordinary talents and zest for life. If the Angels need it, I know you will use your comedic prowess to keep them laughing, as you did us.

    Cathy Clary
    Feb. 19, 2019
    Pasco, WA
  • Krista Leigh was among the most talented, brightest theatre students I have had at California Lutheran University. But it was her personality that lit up a room. Though shy and quiet when you first met her, her flashing wit and full-throated laughter made everyone feel better. Though I haven’t seen her in person for years, I can see her and hear her clearly in my memories of her. My deepest condolences to her family.

    Michael J Arndt
    Feb. 19, 2019
    Thousand Oaks California
  • My deepest condolences to Barb, Jerry, Scott and family for your loss. When Barb and I were young mothers, we bonded through the parent education organizations in which we were active. Together we experienced the joys and challenges of parenting. Krista and my daughter Nicole were born in the same month of the same year. Among other things, I remember our agonizing over whether to put our five-year olds in kindergarten because they were on the cusp of entering school. Yes, even then, precocious Krista, you thrived as one of the youngest in your class.

    Cathy Clary
    Feb. 17, 2019
  • I marveled at Krista's artistic talents through the years. I also marveled at Barb's tenacious support of all Krista was interested in. For me and many others, Barb was a role model for how to nurture our beloveds. God bless you, Barb, Jerry and Scott, in your grief. And God bless your Soul, dear Krista. Know that we were blessed here on Earth with your extraordinary talents and zest for life. If the Angels need it, I know you will use your comedic prowess to keep them laughing, as you did us.

    Cathy Clary
    Feb. 17, 2019
  • The death of a child, no matter what age, is a very difficult loss. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you Barb and Gerry and your family. Barb, I am here if you would like to talk.

    Gail Miller
    Feb. 16, 2019
    Richland, WA
  • I met Krista in elementary school, those blond pigtails were the cutest! In high school, she was on fire. She had this amazing energy and quirkiness that I admired. I remember thinking out of all my classmates, she was going places. I admired her relationship with her parents, I remember learning to drive with her and joking about her minivan. She traveled everywhere with her parents, she was so worldly. She had this moral compass that we all tried to follow. My heart goes out to her family.

    Kristen Campbell
    Feb. 16, 2019
    Vancouver, WA
  • Krista and I went to high school together and connected a few years ago on social media. I am heartbroken for your family. Krista was always a bright spot in the world, with a ready smile and laugh. Her social media posts always made me laugh with her wit and charm. She will be missed.

    Jennifer Williams
    Feb. 15, 2019
    Leander Texas
  • Krista and I met though gymnastics, in 4th grade. We both competed in that, and also, in junior high, we both danced at the Mid-Columbia Ballet. There was an extended part of my early life, during the 1980s, where I saw Krista several hours a day, five days a week, always at some kind of grueling physical activity or another. We performed together and got blisters together. In high school I drove her, along with other friends, to Hanford High school where we all complained about AP classes together. I'm sure this period was as formative for Krista as it was for me. She was top-notch at both gymnastics and ballet, which must have set her on her path as a performer. She was also smart, pretty and witty: a triple (quadruple? quintuple?) threat. No one was surprised when she left Richland to pursue theater -- she was the only person we knew who could really, really belt out a song. Krista was hands down amazing. (Please Continue to next msg)

    Eric LoPresti
    Feb. 14, 2019
    Brooklyn NY
  • (Continued) When our gymnastics coach, Rod Ostboe, died in 2012, Krista told me that Rod was one of her heroes. Although by that time we were in touch only via social media, I always felt a kinship through our shared experiences. It saddens me greatly that we won't get to see more of her journey. Krista was a ray of light, and she will be missed.

    Eric LoPresti
    Feb. 14, 2019
    Brooklyn NY
  • Krista and I met though gymnastics, in 4th grade. We both competed in that, and also, in junior high, we both danced at the Mid-Columbia Ballet. There was an extended part of my early life, during the 1980s, where I saw Krista several hours a day, five days a week, always at some kind of grueling physical activity or another. We performed together and got blisters together. In high school I drove her, along with other friends, to Hanford High school where we all complained about AP classes together. I'm sure this period was as formative for Krista as it was for me. She was top-notch at both gymnastics and ballet, which must have set her on her path as a performer. She was also smart, pretty and witty: a triple (quadruple? quintuple?) threat. No one was surprised when she left Richland to pursue theater -- she was the only person we knew who could really, really belt out a song. Krista was hands down amazing.

    Eric LoPresti
    Feb. 14, 2019
    Brooklyn NY
  • When our gymnastics coach, Rod Ostboe, died in 2012, Krista told me that Rod was one of her heroes. Although by that time we were in touch only via social media, I always felt a kinship through our shared experiences. It saddens me greatly that we won't get to see more of her journey. Krista was a ray of light, and she will be missed.

    Eric LoPresti
    Feb. 14, 2019
    Brooklyn NY
  • Barb, Jerry & Scott holding you in our hearts.

    Joyce Babler
    Feb. 13, 2019
    Moorhead MN
  • Leigh you will be missed.

    Don Smet
    Feb. 13, 2019
    Spokane
  • Dearest Barb, Jerry & Family, Our deepest sympathies for your loss. We are holding you all in our hearts with Love. -Ed, Kurt & Leo

    Ed Lazzara
    Feb. 13, 2019
    Salem, Oregon
  • we all will miss the sweet girl (from childhood to the end). she was the best friend of my daughters dr. svati and shruti and became the family member. she was always eager to help the family in need. she spend very good time with my daughters during her school carrier. we were able to see her smile again while she attended svati's marriage. we wish the family to have the strength to bear such a loss.

    hasmukh shah
    Feb. 13, 2019
    atlanta, georgia
  • So heartbreaking. When I remember Krista, I see her smile and her spirit and the sparkle in her eyes. I am grateful I knew her and shared even a small part of the joy she brought to everyone. Barb, Gerald, Scott---I am so sorry. I know you will miss her forever.

    Teresa Knirck
    Feb. 13, 2019
    Richland
  • Leigh was a sister of my heart. Our time in college are some of the best memories of my life. As we grew and changed and found ourselves, we checked in with each and became touchstones. I can not express how much she is loved...or how much she will be missed.

    Cheryllynn Carter
    Feb. 12, 2019
    Los Angeles
  • Stunned ... the summer of 1999 this non-dancer in a dance show took the stage with her. And as we tapped to the finale in the next show in the winter of 2000 I turned to her mid shuffle step turn and said something to the effect “I hate dancing.” As we turned around the stage dancing side by side she whispered something back that made me smile and I then realized every actor suffers unknown “stage terror.” That’s why they call us “actors” because we take out our fear on stage and create a fun world that touches others. She touched my soul in those shows and I am so much richer for the time we shared ... Life was a Cabaret ole chum and you were my “toast” of Mayfair !!

    John Downey III
    Feb. 12, 2019
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Krista was among my first friends as a child. We used to play a lot together as kids. She was always so creative and so funny. A memory when we were little girls playing with Barbies in their bathroom sink for a Barbie pool party. We had so much fun! I have known her and entire family my entire life. My condolences for her amazing family.

    Debbie Simonen
    Feb. 12, 2019
    Kennewick Wa
  • I am so sorry for your loss. She will be missed!

    LizJohnston
    Feb. 11, 2019
    Kennewick, Wa
  • I wish I had known Krista. What a beautiful and extraordinary young woman she was! I hope that your many wonderful memories of Krista will be of comfort to you. My deepest condolences.

    Vicki Patten
    Feb. 11, 2019
    Richland
  • Gordon and I met Krista rather recently and are so pleased that we were able to know and spend time with our friends’ daughter. Thanks to your beautifully written tribute, we now know much more about Krista’s passions and accomplishments; she was indeed a remarkable, unique human being, We would have thought so even if we only knew, as we did, about her work with animals and of her pet rescues. This is sadder than sad for your family and for her friends, but also for the two grieving canines left behind. We share your grief, and though there are no words able to console the inconsolable, we offer these: “Life has to end; love doesn’t.”

    Sally Beeman
    Feb. 11, 2019
  • Krista and I were childhood besties through our elementary years at Sacajawea in Richland. We both lived on the same street and every morning Krista would pick me up to walk to school and we carried on and dreamed of dancing, riding ponies to school, and playing with our barbies endlessly. In 5th grade, my family moved back east and I have missed her friendship ever since. I'm glad we were able to reconnect several years later via FB, but now wished we had made the time to visit each other. Life is all too short, but I'm glad Krista lived a most fulfilling and adventurous life here and with her travels abroad. I miss you so much my old friend! Much love, Me xoxo

    Jill Bogert
    Feb. 11, 2019
    Benson, Vermont
  • I first met Leigh in 2003, and we have been best friends ever since. The only thing that has made me smile since hearing this terrible news, is seeing all those people whose lives she has touched. I miss Leigh, and love Leigh with all my heart, and will cherish the time we spent together... On behalf of my wife and I, I want to express my deepest, and most heartfelt condolences to Barb, Jerry, and her brother Scott, as well as, all of her friends, and extended family. Although she is now with the angels in heaven, she will always have a special place in my heart. Rest in Peace my dearest friend. Until we meet again.

    Richard and Martha Coyne
    Feb. 11, 2019
    Gulfport, Mississippi

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